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Tag: Mike Swick

Chris Leben: The CagePotato Retrospective Interview

Chris Leben UFC interview
(“I want people to look at me and say, ‘Wow, this is where he started and look where he ended up.’” Photo props: MMA Weekly)

By Ben Goldstein

Over the last six years, we’ve watched Chris Leben evolve from The Ultimate Fighter‘s original wild-ass brawler, to a multi-faceted contender who has the tools to defeat virtually any middleweight opponent on any given night. In fact, two of Leben’s last three fights have resulted in the greatest victories of his entire career — his epic UFC 116 Fight of the Night against Yoshihiro Akiyama, and his stunning 27-second knockout of Wanderlei Silva at UFC 132.

On November 5th, Leben will headline UFC 138 in Birmingham, England, against Mark Munoz, in a meeting that could put one of them on the short-list for a title shot. We spent some time on the phone with the Crippler last week and discussed all the notable battles in his life that have led him to where he is today, facing yet another massive opportunity. Enjoy, and check out our previous Retrospective Interviews right here.

THE ORIGIN STORY

(Matt Lindland, overdressed as usual.)

CHRIS LEBEN: “I think I was in the fourth grade when I got into my first fight. I can’t remember what it was over — something on the playground. But that was my first real, non-wrestling match, hitting-each-other-in-the-face kind of fight. And all the other kids just stood around and watched. I didn’t get into fights a lot, but I definitely had some good ones, like all kids that are a little more on the wild side.

I did a little wrestling in grade school, and something called Christian Karate that I did in like third grade. Then I started boxing in eighth grade and I actually took that really seriously.

Even when I was in junior high, my plan was always to fight in the UFC. I joined Team Quest right after I turned 21. You have to remember that at 185 pounds, I was training with Matt Lindland, Evan Tanner, Chael Sonnen, Ed Herman — we were all in the same room, every day. And every day I walked into the gym, my first coach Robert Follis would say, ‘Good morning Chris, how are you doing?’ And I’d say, ‘Did you get me a fight yet? Did you get me a fight yet?’ I’d never say, ‘Good morning, how are you,’ it was always ‘Did you get me a fight yet?’ I believe it was about six months until I had my first amateur fight.”

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Mike Swick Injured Again, UFC 134 Bout With Erick Silva Scratched

Mike Swick MMA UFC photos injured
(…and when he woke up, he could speak perfect Spanish. / Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

You know, if James Irvin didn’t already exist, Mike Swick would be a solid front-runner for Most Cursed Fighter in MMA. Since his second-consecutive loss against Paulo Thiago last February, Swick has been completely out of action, nursing himself back to health following a stomach-related medical misdiagnosis then a back injury. ‘Quick’ was scheduled to take on newcomer Erick Silva on the prelims of UFC 134 — which would have ended an 18-month layoff — but has now withdrawn from that fight due to a torn MCL and ACL suffered in training.

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Video: Mike Swick is in Trouble; Anderson Taught Erick Silva Seagal’s Kick of Doom

Well, it’s safe to say the UFC better have an ambulance running outside the venue for Mike Swick at UFC 134.

According to this training video posted by Tatame, his opponent for the August 27 Silva vs. Okami event in Rio de Janeiro, Erick Silva has been working diligently at perfecting the purported Steven Seagal-created kick Silva used to nearly decapitate Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 in February. Although you can barely make it out, especially if you don’t understand Portuguese, the UFC newcomer can be heard on the video telling his pad-holders, “If do right, no can defend.”

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On This Day in MMA History…June 19


(Back when Ken was making more than GSP…)

The TUF 11 Finale went down 1 year ago.

Why it matters:

Five of the fighters from the show are still active in the UFC and four are undefeated in the Octagon.

TUF winner Court McGee, who defeated Kris McCray in the finale by rear naked choke also beat Ryan Jensen by arm triangle at UFC 121 in October. He’s set to face Don Yi Yang at UFN “Battle at the Bayou” in September.

Kyle Noke, who was beaten by teammate McCray by unanimous decision in the quarterfinals of the show, defeated Josh Bryant by TKO at the finale and rattled off two rear naked choke submission wins against Rob Kimmons at UFC 122 in November and TUF 11 cast mate Chris Camozzi at UFC 127 at home in Australia in February. He’ll face Tom Lawlor next at UFC Live: Hardy vs. Lytle in August.

Brad Tavares, who lost to McGee in the semi-finals by rear naked choke is undefeated in official competition as well as 2-0 in the Octagon.He defeated TUF 11 quarterfinal opponent Seth Baczynski at the finale by unanimous decision and Phil Baroni by knockout at UFC 125 in January.

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Gross Video of the Day: Phil Baroni and Roger Huerta Drink Cobra Blood, Because That’s What You Do on Vacation


(Props: OfficialSwick. The true horribleness starts around 2:54.)

Mike Swick should have his own travel show, preferably on one of the non-pussy networks. Quick’s globetrotting adventures have covered everything from African street-drugs and bootleg Osama merchandise to AIDS-lizards and lady-boys in Phuket. Now his road-dogs Phil Baroni and Roger Huerta are upping the ante by drinking fresh cobra blood. (Don’t worry, that snake was going to be used for belts and meat anyway.)

Phil and Rog each bang a shot of the red stuff at the 4:04 mark, and Baroni immediately follows it up with shot #2 . “How the fuck did you do that shit,” asks a visibly-shaken Huerta. “How did you do two?” Says Baroni, like a boss: “I’m gangsta.” Later, he eats the snake’s penis, which is somewhat less gangster in my opinion.

Fresh off his win over Nick Nolte, the New York Bad Ass is slated to take on former Cage Rage champ Matt Ewin at BAMMA 6 on May 21st.

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Swick, Mitchell Both Decide ‘Fighting for the Troops’ Not in the Cards


(Those hats that make it look like you have an arrow through your head? Comedy gold. Somehow, the same principle does not apply to the AK-47. PicProps: BrasilCombate.com)

Well, it’s not every day that both guys decide they’d rather not fight. That however seems to be the case with Mike Swick’s scheduled comeback fight against David Mitchell at the UFC’s “Fight for the Troops” event on Jan. 22 in Ford Hood, Tex. Swick, who has not fought since February, announced on his Facebook page recently that Mitchell was out with an injury (a shoulder, people are saying) and said that his own ongoing medical issues made the best option for the former “TUF 1” contestant to sit this one out too, rather than accept a replacement opponent. He sounded more relieved about it than anything else, if you want to know the truth. Here’s the original message from Swick himself, consider all his quotes in this story fully sic’d: 

"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."

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Mike Swick Returns Against David Mitchell at ‘Fight for the Troops 2′

Mike Swick Lyoto Machida AKA gym UFC
(Swick is back, and he’s got a new nutritionist.)

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.

According to Heavy.com, Fight for the Troops 2 will be headlined by Kenny Florian vs. Evan Dunham, a matchup that was originally thought to take place at UFC 126.

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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.

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What Your MMA Nickname Really Says About You

Nicknames are like tattoos — badass when you first pick them out, generally embarrassing ten years later. And yet for some reason, they’re often the only things that MMA fighters keep forever, even as they change camps, change fighting styles, and change their hair. And while every fighter sends a message with their choice of nickname, it may not always be the message that they’re trying to send. For example, let’s say your nickname is…

A RHYME

Notable examples: Mike “Quick” Swick, “Bad” Brad Blackburn, Shannon “The Cannon” Ritch, Marvin “Beastman” Eastman
What you think it says: You’re straightforward and to-the-point. You want your nickname to stick in people’s heads.
What it really says: You spent no more than five seconds coming up with that weak bullshit.

A REFERENCE TO YOUR COUNTRY OF ORIGIN

Notable examples: Kamal “Prince of Persia” Shalorus, Efrain “Hecho en Mexico” Escudero, Sako “The Armenian Psycho” Chivitchian, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung
What you think it says: You’re proud of your heritage and want to represent the fighting spirit of your people.
What it really says: You will be met with boos and “U.S.A.!” chants every time you fight, even though you’ve lived in Glendale your entire life.

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MMA FightPicker Head-to-Head: UFC 109 Edition


(Couture vs. Coleman hype video by Genghis Con. Respect your elders, son.)

ATTENTION, POTATO NATION: It’s Friday afternoon, which means there’s still time to join MMA FightPicker and submit your predictions for tomorrow night’s UFC 109 card. For the thousands of players who have already signed up, we thank you, and we want you to know that we’ll be battling alongside you. In fact, BF and BG have both joined "Palooka Pool 30 #173" in an effort to determine a house champion. (Ed. note: The loser of this challenge will have to get a tattoo on his ass that says "Ben owns this. Not me, the other Ben.") So please join a FightPicker pool if you haven’t already, then take a look at how we’re answering the questions this week…

1. Randy Couture vs. Mark Coleman at UFC 109: Who will win?
BF: Randy Couture. If Couture can only beat one type of fighter on the UFC roster, it’s the type that Coleman happens to be: old, a little bit slow, and too dependent on his wrestling ability.
BG: Randy Couture. Couture is the master of the gameplan. Coleman drives around Vegas for two days with his low-fuel light on because he’s always late to practice, and runs out of gas on the 215 even though he "put that little extra in there" to begin with. Difference in mental preparation, is what I’m saying.

2. Randy Couture vs. Mark Coleman: Who will score the first takedown?
BF: Randy Couture. This is a little tougher to call, because sometimes the first takedown is determined in part by who’s gunning for takedowns right out of the gate, which should be Coleman. I still think Couture can stifle him until he’s ready to work for something out of the clinch, maybe early in the second round.
BG: Randy Couture. Ditto to all that. You might see these two guys try to prove a point by slugging for a couple rounds, but the Natural will eventually put Coleman on his back from the clinch.

3. Nate Marquardt vs. Chael Sonnen: Who will win?
BF: Nate Marquardt. Chael Sonnen says he doesn’t know what tools he has to beat Marquardt with. It might be the most sensible thing he’s said in weeks.
BG: Nate Marquardt. Okay, agreeing with you is starting to get very boring. I’d better start making some ridiculous picks to liven things up around here…

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