After Two Years Away, Mike Swick Returns to the Octagon (Quotes & Video)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 1 August 2012 09:12
Written by PunchDrunkGamer
Wednesday, 1 August 2012 09:12
After Two Years Away, Mike Swick Returns to the Octagon
By PDG Staff
On the same card as four light heavyweight warriors compete to be next in line for a UFC title shot, one athlete has already overcome enormous obstacles to simply be competing on the UFC On FOX card live from Los Angeles.
By the time he steps into the Octagon at the Staples Center it will have been been two years, five months and 30 days – 911 days in total – since welterweight contender Mike ‘Quick’ Swick, 14-4, last fought. A seven year veteran of the UFC and one of the original ‘Ultimate Fighter’ cast members, the popular Texan has battled a series of health issues including a condition called esophageal spasm which threatened his career.
Swick on his illness: “I would wake in the night feeling like I had a heart attack. I wasn’t getting any sleep at all during camps or even during the week of fights. I got misdiagnosed a couple of times but eventually they found it was esophageal spasm, which would give me cramps and pains when I was trying to sleep.
“I never thought about wanting to quit myself. But there was a time where I thought my career might be over, talking to the doctors. If I couldn’t eat like an athlete, if I couldn’t rest my body, I was finished. But, slowly, I learned to control the condition through diet. The only thing diet-wise that is different for me is I miss all those great foods that taste good. Career wise, it is under control.”
On finally getting back to Octagon: “I think in a way I’ve preserved a lot of my athletic prime while dealing with my health issues. Over the last two years I’ve not taken any damage to my body or head in a way that eight or 12 fights would have done. Even though I had to miss out on all those fights, I feel I’m coming back more healthy than ever. I’m faster than I’ve ever been, I’ve worked speed non-stop for two years, and I’m more motivated and hungry. That fire that used to burn is even bigger. So I’m definitely far from done, and I think this is a whole new beginning for me.”
To sit there and watch that many shows go by and not fight, it’s really tough. But everyone’s been super supportive and everywhere I go, people come up and shake my hand and show support and they’re excited for my return. So it makes me feel good to know that I haven’t been forgotten.”
On UFC on FOX opponent DaMarques Johnson: “I love how he pressures and comes forward, he looks for the finish, and he’s not a boring fighter. He’s not gonna try to hang on to me or win a decision, and I think it’s gonna be a great matchup for the fans. He’s the perfect fight to showcase that I am back.”
Also live from the Los Angeles’ Staples Center, former light heavyweight champion and karate expert Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida battles Ryan “Darth” Bader, a thunderous puncher and former NCAA All-American wrestler. Then, in the five round main event, one of the greatest of all time, former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, fights on free TV when he throws down with a resurging Brandon “The Truth” Vera.
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