"Not fighting on January 22nd," the fighter wrote. "I got the call yesterday that David Mitchell backed out due to an injury and considering my current situation we opted to put off the fight all together."
Reeling from back-to-back losses against Dan Hardy and Paulo Thiago — which he partly attributed to a medical misdiagnosis that screwed with his health for years — UFC welterweight contender Mike Swick has a lot to prove in his next fight. According to MMA Weekly, Swick will compete at Fight for the Troops 2 on January 22nd, meeting up with David Mitchell (10-1, 0-1 UFC). Mitchell suffered the first loss of his career in his Octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 22, dropping a decision to fellow first-timer TJ Waldburger — making Swick vs. Mitchell a true must-win for both fighters.
In 2006, Swick was incorrectly diagnosed with dyspepsia, and was put on a restrictive diet that made it impossible for him to keep weight on, which directly resulted in Swick’s drop from middleweight to welterweight. This year, Swick learned that he actually had "esophageal spasm with acid reflux," a condition that you don’t need to treat by starving yourself. At this very moment, Swick is taking the first step towards fixing his health problems once and for all, undergoing an "experimental medical procedure" that involves getting his esophagus injected with a neurotoxin. Sounds painful, but the ability to eat Thai food again should more than make up for it. Here’s to a "Quick" (yeah, yeah) recovery.
Though you won’t see any new faces on the televised main card, UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs. Palhares will feature three fighters in the prelims who will be stepping into the Octagon for the first time. No pressure, guys. They’ve got the talent, but can they overcome the dreaded Jitters? Get to know these men below, and keep an eye out.
RAFAEL NATAL (MW) Experience: 12-2 record (10 wins by stoppage within the first two rounds), with multiple appearances in Ring of Combat and various Brazilian promotions. Most recently knocked out Travis Lutter at Moosin: God of Martial Arts in May. Also holds a win over UFC/WEC vet Danillo Villefort. Will be facing:Rich Attonito (8-3, 1-0 UFC) Lowdown: Not to be confused with the King of Clay, Rafael "Sapo" Natal is a BJJ black belt under Draculino Magalhaes, and works as an instructor at Renzo Gracie’s in New York. His nickname means "Toad"; he picked it up as a 14-year-old during his first capoeira class in Brazil, and like all unflattering Brazilian nicknames, it stuck. Though grappling is Natal’s strong suit — and carried him to a gold medal at the Mundials as a blue belt in 2005 — Rafael loves a good brawl. As he told UFC.com, "Sometimes in the academy I’ll call a teammate to spar in that style (laughs) – no technique, only brawling, closed eyes, landing fists. This is excellent to take off the stress."
Natal was formerly the middleweight champion of Ring of Combat, but lost his title to Victor O’Donnell last year in unfortunate fashion: "I opted to trade strikes and the first round wasn’t going good for me. At the end of the first round the fight was on the ground and I was on the top, the round finished and I helped him up and went to my corner. The doctor asked me something and I didn’t answer because I didn’t speak English, so he stopped the fight! I tried to complain and nothing changed. Hey, don’t worry I improved my English and I won’t lose this way anymore."