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Mike Swick Says Prescribed Diet for Misdiagnosed Stomach Ailment Was Impetus Behind Drop to Welterweight


(Video courtesy YouTube/

When Mike Swick lost his last fight to Paulo Thiago a lot of critics wondered if a welterweight with such a gaunt frame might be better suited to compete as a lightweight.

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."

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Oyabun- August 12, 2010 at 7:38 pm
Acid Reflux can basically feel like a heart attack when it kicks in heavily. Not a joke at all. Esophageal spasms also are nasty. Since it's in the center of your chest you wonder if you're having a friggin heart palpitation. Never heard of anyone misdiagnosed with dyspepsia instead of reflux. He should sue that quack for malpractice.
Mr_Misanthropy- August 12, 2010 at 6:52 pm
Hey- wait a minute- my earlier post had nothing to do with THAT kind of neurotoxin.
Mr_Misanthropy- August 12, 2010 at 6:47 pm
I've heard Jenna can hold three pints of neurotoxin in her lower intestine.
fatbellyfrank- August 12, 2010 at 3:54 pm
I'm pretty sure I've seen footage of Jenna copping a neurotoxin bath
fatbellyfrank- August 12, 2010 at 3:53 pm
danomite Says:
Fri, 08/13/2010 - 05:18
It's Swick's fault for getting misdiagnosed. I told him he shouldn't have gone to Dr. Ortiz. I went there with a broken arm one time and he diagnosed me with having a soft head. He said my soft head meant i didn't have no equilium and that's why I fell down and broke my arm. I now wear a hearing aid and a helmet and an arm that never fully healed.
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More gold, damn I love this website
fatbellyfrank- August 12, 2010 at 3:51 pm
I also suffer from oesaphagal reflux, I take one tablet every morning and it keeps it under control, I've been on prescription medication for this for the last 16 years, I dont even think about it any more, I eat pretty much what I like drink what I like, no biggie, If thats actually what the problem is, he should be fine in no time at all.

Now thats my serious comment for the day, I beleive theres some fun to be had here at Jenna and Nick Rings expense
agentsmith- August 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm
More like "This week I plan to get a neurotoxin injected into all of my orifices".
Viva Hate- August 12, 2010 at 2:23 pm
Wasn't "This week I plan to get a neurotoxin injected into my esophagus" the name of Tito's wifes third movie?
agentsmith- August 12, 2010 at 2:16 pm
Paris Hilton gets neurotoxins injected into her esophagus every weekend.
uzithrasha- August 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm
Pride was the shit. Who cares if it was in sd. You not only sound like a mma nerd, you sound like a nerd nerd. 831 love bra
831 Father- August 12, 2010 at 1:19 pm
Sakuraba3900, Pride was in shitty 4:3 SD and thus is worse than Strikeforce, Shine Fights and Shark Fights combined. Ridiculous.
floppytall- August 12, 2010 at 1:10 pm
"This week I plan to get a neurotoxin injected into my esophagus"

- Man that sounds so hot (no homo).
Almost North- August 12, 2010 at 1:09 pm
My roommate got misdiagnosed with gluten intolerance and couldn't eat pasta, bread, beer, anything good basically for over a year. Turns out never had it, just a lazy doctor. It was a physical problem with the intestine which was getting worse and worse over that whole period.

Get second opinions. Always. Somebody has to graduate at the bottom of those medical classes...
Sakuraba3900- August 12, 2010 at 12:48 pm
I know this doesnt have anything to do with this subject but Im was dusting through my old Pride dvds over the past couple of days ive been rewatching a few of them and right now Im on Critical Countdown 2005. I just got done with Lil Nog and Shoguns fight and GODDAMN they put on a good fucking show. What a great fucking event.

Oh how I love Pride.
Mr_Misanthropy- August 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm
I drink neurotoxins for breakfast. They stimulate my limbic center producing a sensory impression of combusted hydrocarbons combined with coprecipitated aluminum salts of naphthenic and palmitic acids. The sensory impression is reminiscent of... victory.
Mr_Misanthropy- August 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm
One Swick, two Swick, red Swick, blue Swick.
shitbag- August 12, 2010 at 12:22 pm
Getting a neurotoxin injection?!

Cool! Sign me up!
danomite- August 12, 2010 at 12:18 pm
It's Swick's fault for getting misdiagnosed. I told him he shouldn't have gone to Dr. Ortiz. I went there with a broken arm one time and he diagnosed me with having a soft head. He said my soft head meant i didn't have no equilium and that's why I fell down and broke my arm. I now wear a hearing aid and a helmet and an arm that never fully healed.
Miles- August 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm
also, several times you wrote 'though' instead of 'thought'

I usually read right past these simple mistakes but they were numerous in this one. I realize it's a connect-the-quotes article but at least proofread it
Häkkiperuna- August 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm
love the "stomach ailment" -tag
nesbitt- August 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm
another correction i think; if he looked gaunt at welterweight, I dont think you mean he'd be 'more suited to lightweight'.
agentsmith- August 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm
"This week I plan to get a neurotoxin injected into my esophagus which should paralyze the muscle..."


I hear Nick Ring has had the same procedure.
puhalu- August 12, 2010 at 11:55 am
If LW=MW and WW=MW, does LW=WW?
831 Father- August 12, 2010 at 11:52 am
ALWAYS get a second opinion for the more serious illnesses. What a waste of a few years for Swick.
vyapaar- August 12, 2010 at 11:52 am
So much for our proud american health care systems. Nothing is perfect. Doctors misdiagnosing illnesses happens everyday and everywhere.
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