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Mike Swick Weighs In on Herschel Walker, Dan Hardy

I spoke to Mike Swick this week for an SI.com article on his attempt to get back in the title picture after the loss to Dan Hardy.  While Swick admits he lost the fight, he says he can’t accept that Hardy might be the better fighter, and wants a rematch somewhere down the line to prove it.  When asked if Hardy deserves the shot at GSP after winning the decision at UFC 105, Swick joined Nate Marquardt, Rory Markham, and a chorus of other observers in saying absolutely not:

"The thing about this sport is, there are so many variables that go into it. He did beat me. And if I would have won then I would have been the No. 1 contender, so you can look at it that way. But just because he won that fight, I don’t think that means he deserves a title shot. He’s only had three fights in the UFC and he’s only had one finish. He hasn’t had the same road that a lot of the top welterweights in the UFC have. Even though he beat me, I have to say he doesn’t deserve it. If he thinks he does, I’m sorry, but he’s wrong."

I also talked to Swick about the newest addition at the American Kickboxing Academy, Herschel Walker.  It’s one thing for Strikeforce and their employees to insist that he has what it takes to hang with the pros, but what has the longtime AKA fighter seen from him in the gym?


According to Swick, Walker is taking this stuff seriously:

"I train with him every day. He’s good, man. He’s really athletic and very, very motivated. I mean, he’s a guy in here training as hard as guys in their twenties and thirties who do this for a living, and it’s not easy. I’ve seen countless guys who couldn’t hack the training here. I’ve seen high-level guys, guys you watch on TV, come into our gym and not be able to hack it. They leave and don’t come back.

"You see a guy who’s not a fighter at all come in there, and he does everything that we do, all the training and the conditioning, the Aerodyne workouts, all of it. He’s not doing it for the fame or the money or anything. He’s doing it just for the love of the sport and competition. It’s inspiring. He’s a motivated individual."

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Keyser Soze- January 25, 2010 at 5:32 am
@ iDestroy.... biggerer and betterer? Seriously? Are you Koscheck himself, or just that slow and oblivious?

Koscheck was ruined by GSP, and TKO'd by Thiago, and lost to Alves. So he beat up on Rumble and choked out Frank Trigg... big deal. For that you think he deserves a title shot? He wants another shot at GSP... let him fight Fitch. If he won't because they're teammates... move to MW.

Did Hardy deserve a title shot... not really. But neither did Swick. GSP's got to fight someone, and at this point it's a moot argument. Rush would dominate either contender.

Koscheck's wrestling pedigree and accolades didn't mean sh*t to GSP, and were as useful to Kos as tits on a bull. Taken down and repeatedly stuffed by a fighter who was supposed to be inferior on the ground. That worked well... at least for GSP. A rematch would be no different, other than to see you humbled. Rooting for a local fighter and/or mancrush instead of thinking rationally... priceless.
robthom- January 23, 2010 at 9:01 pm
That sounds like a well figured theory to me.

I didn't know that he pulled out against Kampmann a few weeks earlier. I may have read it and then forgot.
There's so much MMA to keep track of these days sometimes I miss or forget details.
ghostboner- January 23, 2010 at 8:32 pm
@robthom - I don't know for sure if he had an injury or not, but that is my guess. You may remember he was scheduled to face Martin Kampmann a few weeks earlier but had to pull out do to some undisclosed injury. I am thinking he wasn't doing as well as he thought.

Funny, when I started following this site I was surprised to see Ben F. I was like wow, that stiff from SI?
robthom- January 23, 2010 at 6:04 pm
@ ghostboner,

Oh I didn't know that he had an injury.
That would explain a lot.

And I can see how he wouldn't be able to help dogging on the guy who beat him a little bit.

Swick's always been a fave of mine so I was a little ruffled to see him drop like that. But I'm sure he'll be back to business in his next fight, and he'll get a rematch with Hardy one day.


BTW: I didn't know Fowlkes had a gig at SI.
Check out the Bigshot. :)
tenpoundsledge- January 23, 2010 at 12:44 pm
I have to agree with swick and the boy's on this one Hardy has no fucking business getting a title shot he hasn't proven himself enough yet. I would say at best he should be at least two if not three more fights away! Not to say that he isn't a good fighter but just because he has a gigantic fucking mohawk and we know that's the only reason some people even recognize him and so does he!That shouldn't constitute a title shot!Even if he pulled off a Serra he doesn't have the ability at this point to successfully defend the title!Kinda makes you wonder what the fuck goes on behind the closed doors of the UFC to make them think hey this guy is kinda popular,he's won a couple fights and the people like the mohawk so fuck it let's give him a shot!! BULLSHIT MOVE GUYS!!
VadersAsthmaMeds- January 23, 2010 at 7:36 am
@iDestroy

Whenever I think of Kos, I remember the buildup before he fought GSP. Kos was very confident, and in pre-fight smack talk he said that GSP has no heart. Said his heart was bigger than GSP's. Followed that up by saying that anytime he didn't like which way the fight was going he'd use his wrestling to bring the fight under control, since he was an NCAA wrestling star. Maybe you remember?

GSP's response to Koscheck's comments was, "Well, Josh Koscheck had a camera pointing at him, and he had to think of something good to say. If the best he could come up with was that I have no heart, that tells me he doesn't know how he's going to beat me. As for his wrestling skills, I'm confident that I'll be able to counter them with my own."

I'd say the way the fight went speaks for itself. To Kos's credit, he did go the distance, but GSP shut him down at every turn, had pleanty of heart, and we all know that Kos's wrestling didn't help him control the fight in any way.

I wanna see Kos against Fitch. Winner can challenge GSP for the title.
iDestroy- January 23, 2010 at 6:03 am
@fedoromics

Yeah, he talks crap, but he hasn't had his trainers blowin up the ol' interweb sayin how they have to bring in a awesome LHW to train with him because of how insanely huge and awesome he's getting. If you ask me, its all BS. Scare tactics my friend.

It might work on lesser humans like dan hardy, but everybody know koscheck fears no man.
ghostboner- January 23, 2010 at 1:58 am
@robthom - Spot on mate. I think he prob just doesn't want to sound like an excuse making bitch or sore loser for complaining about an injury. I don't think he was trying to be a dick about Hardy either, I mean the interviewer brought it up, he just answered the question. I dunno. I'll ask him next time I see him.
Randy Pan- January 23, 2010 at 12:02 am
No one wants to talk bad about a training partner, so no surprise Swick spends the whole time assuring us of Walker's dedication to training. The article pretty much just tells us how polite Swick is. I hope Walker gets beat up.
robthom- January 22, 2010 at 9:32 pm
@ Ghostboner,

I agree with you about Swick. I was wondering what the fuck was wrong with him in the Hardy fight too.

Hardy isn't that great and Swick should have took that. Maybe not easily but he should have been able to force it through at worst. So he might as well shut the fuck up complaining about Hardy because he's the one who blew it IMO.
fedoromics- January 22, 2010 at 9:28 pm
@ iDestroy

Kos doesn't brag?

"I'm gonna go talk some more shit on twitter!"

- Actual quote from Kos when he beat Rumble Johnson.

I had a bit of respect for him before, but when someone talks the amount of shit that he does at the level of arrogance he has, he deserves no respect. Sure he has some solid wins and maybe deserves a totle shot in the coming future... but if he gets that chance i hope GSP (or whoever has the ability to take the title from him) knocks Kos the fuck out.

Who would i like to see fight for the WW belt?

Marius Zaromskis. Let the headkicks begin.
ghostboner- January 22, 2010 at 9:04 pm
Swick never said he deserves a title shot. At least I didn't see how he did in that article. You failed to mention that his last loss before Hardy was a decision to Yushin Okami at 185. The same Yushin Okami who, at the time, was being touted as the man to beat Anderson. (Lord knows why) Before that he had like 6 wins at 185. This is not to mention that swick has like 14 fights with Zuffa while Hardy has 4? I don't think fights outside the organization count towards title aspirations. Unless your name is Vitor...
ghostboner- January 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm
@KidDinomite - Swick and Fitch? Huh? They are complete opposites. Fitch would have absolutely owned Hardy. Of course Swick should have as well, don't know what went wrong there... Sad thing is Fitch does pretty well on the feet, he has just been hesitant to box ever since GSP tenderized his face for 25 min. AKA pretty much owns WW. When GSP leaves it will suck for them because one of them will be champ and then the other two will have to retire.
brutecarnage- January 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm
How can Swick think he deserves a shot but Hardy doesnt. What an ASS! Swick hasnt been consistent just look at his record. B4 Swick's lost to Hardy he was on a 4 fight win streak B4 tht he lost. Everytime he steps up in talent he losses. Look at Hardy's record. He's on a 7 fight win streak take away the accidental groin kick he would be on a 12 fight win streak. Clearly he's consistent unlike Swick. Look at Swick's last loss B4 Hardy...He lost to Yushi Okami (which is where in da division...WHO KNOWS). Thiago Alves hasnt fought since his lost to GSP so he doesnt deserve it. Fitch, Koshcheck, Daley, and anyone else starting there win streak dont deserve it quite yet. I do beleive Koshcheck is one fight way from being the #1 contender but that's it. Hardy does deserve it compared to anyone else. Swick probably believes everyone in tht division has to fight his team mates and win B4 they can hav a shot. I think all of AKA hav that belief. Swick needs to stop cryin about his loss and move on. I dont think Hardy will win but he does have the punchin power to win by one punch though.
iDestroy- January 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm
Kos is the man. If I remember correctly, all of his losses aside from GSP he just got caught.

GSP may have gotten bigger and better, but koscheck probably got biggerer and betterer. He just doesn't like to brag about it.
ghostboner- January 22, 2010 at 5:35 pm
I still have trouble with Swick losing to Hardy. He did not look like himself. I swear he was sick or injured or something. Maybe the injury that caused him to pull out of the Kampmann fight was still a prob? Broken hand? Anyone got any info on that?

Also, I give Kos a decent chance against GSP. In fact, I think him and Fitch are prob the only two who I even give a chance at all.
KidDinomite- January 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm
Anyone else agree that Swick and Fitch are interchangeable fighters? I really can't tell the difference...
KJGould- January 22, 2010 at 5:21 pm
He hasn't had the same road that a lot of the top welterweights in the UFC have ... you mean like appear on a reality tv show where the general public are under the illusion that because you're on their television you must be a good fighter? Guess Hardy took the easier route of fighting in podunk events all over the world and actually earn his way into the UFC. What a dick.
mma samurai- January 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm
Also could you imagine all the hype that would happen if Shogun beat Machida for the LHW belt and then Silva went up to challenge him? You'd have a) Silva wanting to avenge his friend, b) the possibility of making history and having someone in the UFC hold two belts simultaniously and c) just an awesome classing Pride style strike fest as I mentioned before. That would have very high ratings and would draw a HUGE crowd. So Dana White, if you just happen read any of the articles and comments on CP I hope you read this one and think about it. I think all us fight fans would agree we'd love to see that happen.
mma samurai- January 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm
@idestroy

Sorry dude that will never happen. Kos got owned the first time they met and the same will happen again. Until that fight everyone was hyping Kos as the greatest wrestler in the WW division. After GSP stuffed all but I think two takedown attempts and took Kos down at will, they bestowed that title to GSP. Not to metion GSP has gotten even better, stronger and larger from what I read in an earlier article this week here on CP. Hate to break it to you but KOS will need a Matt Serra miracle to pull that one off.

@Frank Mur

I would love to see Silva and Shogun at LHW. I think that would be my fav match up for him in that division. Simply because their styles are very similar. They are both long limbed strikers with great BJJ. They both like to bang and know how to mix it up well. I think Shogun's aggressive style would compliment Silva's counterstriking style well. I think it would come down to who's timing is better and if it went to the ground. I still hold to the belief that if you give Silva an opponent who's durable with a strong chin and great BJJ then they can take him. Silva has stated many times that he likes to take that first minute of the fight to hang back and gauge his opponents. I think if you get someone who will push him right away and not let him get comfortable and loose they could give him some trouble. Not to mention that Silva's few losses have come by way of Submission (except for Okami but that was a DQ on Silva's part). Silva has great BJJ but I think he's become so comfortable on his feet that he has opted not to use it as much. Hence him not going into Leites' world and go to the ground with him. It's a new year with lots of possibilities so here's hoping some of these super fights can happen.
Frank Mur- January 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm
@Vader and Samurai
I would almost agree, however, both Sandman and Griffin were "Perfect" matchups for Silva. Griffin is so fuckin slow that it was suicide for Griffin to take that fight. I would first like to see him fight someone the likes of Shogun, Jackson, or even Evans. It doesn't seem to me that he would do all that well against someone with a little more speed than Griffin.
mma samurai- January 22, 2010 at 4:33 pm
@vader

Agreed. I wouldn't use the Sandman as my ruler on that one but definitely his dominance of Griffin is a great indicator that he would do well at LHW. The only problem with that then arises the issue of him and Machida fighting (providing Shogun doesn't win their rematch which i think is a very strong possibility). In the long run Silva would do very well at LHW and it would be an easy and entertaining transition for him.

I also agree that if one champ moves up in weight then hopefully they all will too. We already saw GSP dominate Penn at WW and I agree GSP would be hard pressed to hang with Silva at MW (though I'd still like to see it go down).

Another possiblity to keep things from getting stagnant and dull in the UFC would be to hype up non title matches more. People get so obsessed with title matches only that they miss out and short change these guys who are very exciting and talented, but not in title fights. Gonzaga and Cro Cop weren't in a title fight and who they hell didn't love that fight? Rich Franklin and Wanderlei in their fight was an epic slugfest (see also Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei) that wasn't a title fight. They put so much hype into the title matches only that these great fights that aren't for the belt get overlooked I think. Lets get some more spotlight on these great non title fights and I think people will be just as entertained. Just my thoughts anyway.
Frank Mur- January 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm
C.P. "How's Hershell Walker inside of a cage?"
Swick "He's motivated and trains well and doesn't quit."
C.P. "So what does his skill set look like?"
Swick "He's motivated and trains well and doesn't quit."
C.P."CAN HE FIGHT?"
Swick "He's motivated and trains well and doesn't quit."
C.P. "IS HE GOING TO SURVIVE OR WHAT!!!"
Swick "He's motivated and trains well and doesn't quit."

C.P. "Well Okay then...There you have it, Hershell Walker is going to die."
iDestroy- January 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm
Josh koscheck will beat GSP.
VadersAsthmaMeds- January 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm
Samurai has it right in his last paragraph there. On the one hand, you can't penalize the champs for being dominant. They're not accidental champions.

Yet at the same time, for entertainment value and to retain the highly competitive aspect of the game, it's natural to hope for these champions to move to the higher weight classes. Ideally, they will all move together keeping it fresh for everyone.

I say this because it won't do Penn any good to rise to WW again and face GSP. Similarly, if GSP were to face off against Silva, I think the size/weight advantage held by the Spider will be too much and we'll see a dynamo brought down.

Silva looks to be the one who will have the easiest transition, as evidenced by his shellaquings of the Sandman and Griffin.
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