(Video courtesy YouTube/
It turns out that Swick’s weight loss and drop to the 170-pound class from his usual 185-pound one was a result of a medical condition he now says was misdiagnosed more than four years ago.
Originally diagnosed with dyspepsia, Swick was put on a restrictive diet and was unable to hold onto the muscle mass he put on in the weight room simply due to the fact that he was burning through more calories training on the mats and in the ring than he was taking in.
Here’s the explanation Swick gave via video blog of what he thought he had and what his new prognosis is:
"Basically, I’ve been dealing with a medical condition for the last several years. It’s affected every part of my life and it’s been an absolute nightmare for my career. Four years ago I was misdiagnosed with a condition called dyspepsia. There’s nothing they can do for dyspepsia. It’s a stomach disorder you have to take medicine for and have a very modest diet. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have dyspepsia, but I’m not a doctor so I didn’t know better. What I actually had was a condition called esophageal spasm with acid reflux, which is actually treatable."
Having reeled off five consecutive wins in the Octagon including two knockouts and two submissions, many people wondered why he was dropping down to 170 after he dropped a no-shame decision loss to Yushin Okami at UFC 69.
He now says that it wasn’t his mind that made the decision; it was his body.
"Not knowing that then, I stuck to the diet, which was about a third of what I was used to eating at that time. This is in fact the reason why I lost thirty pounds and had to drop weight classes. After my last fight it got to an absolute breaking point. It became a question of whether I could continue to train and fight at this level. I decided to go see a specialist to find out what options I had. Considering I thought I had dyspepsia at this point, I asked basically if anything’s changed in the last few years, if there’s any treatments, if there’s any new options and shockingly after they ran some tests on me they correctly diagnosed me with esophageal spasm and acid reflux, which is treatable."
Swick wouldn’t say when he’ll return to fighting or whether or not he might jump back up to middleweight — the division he enjoyed the most success in — in the future. The focus he says will be on getting treatment in the next few months and then he’ll turn his attention back to fighting.
"It was bittersweet. I was very happy that now I’m being told there are options and a possibility to get over this and get my health back. But I was a little bitter because for four years I was told I had dyspepsia and I was told that there was nothing I can do. It greatly affected my life and career. This week I plan to get a neurotoxin injected into my esophagus which should paralyze the muscle, giving me relief. That’s what we hope happens. If that doesn’t work, we might have to look at medicines and see which ones could possibly not interrupt my training too much. The third and final choice obviously is going to be surgery, which is basically irreversible. It’s the most dangerous and the most risky. They’ll have to cut into my esophagus muscle and you can’t undo that. That will be the third and final option, but one that I will be willing to take if that’s all that’s left. I’m going to do everything in my power to get healed up, get healthy and get back into the Octagon as soon as I can."