Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Interview: Mike "Quick" Swick

By Eric Conor

Fighter’s nicknames have a variety of origins. One fighter may create his own nickname and have a hard time living up to it. The feather fisted Chris "Lights Out" Lytle for example. Sometimes a nickname is just an inside joke in the gym. Every so often a fighter acquires a nickname because there are no better words to describe his style, and few fighters live up to their moniker the way Mike "Quick" Swick does.

When asked if he felt pressured to end fights quickly due to his fans’ expectations, Swick confidently replied, "Not at all. A lot of people call me that ["Quick"] because of my quick hands and fighting style. This will always remain the same no matter how fast my fights are."

Indeed, Swick doesn’t seem like the type of fighter who will fold under pressure. Not many realize just how experienced Swick is. As he points out, "I have been in martial arts since I was 8. I have just progressed to the ultimate form which is MMA."

Swick not only has a long history in the combat sports, but a diverse one as well, "I worked in Moscow. I just trained while I worked there. I did train some of the US Marines at the Embassy. I have trained in Thailand twice and also in Sweden."

Traveling no more, he is now San Jose’s best bet to win a UFC championship since Frank Shamrock retired for the first time. Indeed, Swick seems comfortable at the American Kickboxing Academy, "I think AKA is top 5 in the world. It’s a great gym with great fighters. I came here from Texas for the training."

Still a young fighter, his lifetime of martial arts experience and recent stint at AKA has proven to be a recipe for success in the world of MMA. Brandishing a 5-0-0 record in the UFC, his 10-1-0 record overall is only tainted by a loss to The Ultimate Fighter season one cohort, Chris Leben. When asked if this was an important rematch for Mike he responded, "[I’m] only looking ahead. The rematch will happen one day, and I am not stressing over it. It does nothing for my career to fight him at this point."

If things keep going the way they do, then "ahead" may very well mean a title shot, and Swick is well aware of that. When asked what his 2007 career goals are, he responded in typical "Quick" Swick fashion, "UFC world title."

When I reminded him of Anderson Silva’s first round decimation over Rich Franklin, a man who at the time was considered by many to the best middleweight fighter in the world, and asked Swick if that intimidated him at all he said, "No, I am not afraid of him at all, and I want to fight him."

This seemed like a fair time to reflect on his fight with former number one contender, David Loiseau. Mike won, but wasn’t happy with the result, "I was very upset over it. Not taking anything away from David, but I was sad. I didn’t do what I should have before the fight, and I paid for it. Won’t happen again."

If he feels that dissatisfied with his performance, then I feel sorry for Mike’s next opponent, Yushin Okami. I wouldn’t want to be on the other side of the Octagon as Mike tries to redeem himself. Okami, currently sporting a 19-3-0 record, is a worthy roadblock to Mike’s title dreams, but Mike’s not taking him lightly, "He is very tough and durable. It will be a great fight!" When pressed to call out an opponent after Yushin, Mike said, "Just thinking about Yushin now."

2007 may very well prove to be the highlight of Mike’s career thus far. Before ending the interview, Mike wanted to show his appreciation to his fans and his sponsors, "Thanks for all you support guys! Please check out my webpage at and my Myspace at"

Swick may be a knock-out artist but there is also a humanitarian in him. Before saying goodbye Mike made sure to point out, "I am also running a UNICEF campaign to raise money for underprivileged children worldwide. You can check out that page at"


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