Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Swick ready to return to "Quick" form in hometown bout

By Elias Cepeda

After he beat the former #1 UFC middleweight contender David Loiseau last September, Mike Swick asked for a title shot. He did it out in the open at the post-UFC 64 press conference after Anderson Silva had just beat Rich Franklin for the title for all to hear, and he meant it.

When InsideFighting spoke with him later Swick explained his reasoning simply.
“The situation is that when I look up at the competition that’s left in the middleweight division, it’s all very tough guys. So they would all be tough fights but only one would give me a title. Why not go for the title then?”

It’s the type of answer that at first glance smacks of youthful optimism, but Swick isn’t just young, he has the talent and skills to become a title holder. So, is he then disappointed to be fighting Yushin Okami, one of those “very tough guys”, this Saturday night at UFC 69 instead of champion Anderson Silva?

“I’m not really focusing on it. I’m just focusing on Okami. I am a little let down but if I deserve to be the champ I have to win fights like this anyway” says Swick.

Swick knows that Okami, who has gone undefeated in the UFC over the course of three fights in 2006, is a top-tier fighter, and he knows by beating him he can make another statement about his own readiness for a title shot. And with some important lessons learned from his last fight against Loiseau, and an extensive training camp with the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) under his belt, Swick is confident he can get the job done.

After out-pointing Loiseau in the first two rounds of their fight at UFC 63, Loiseau found his range in the third and final round, and ended the fight the stronger of the two. Even so, at the end of the fight there was little question that given the unified rules governing the fight, where the 10-point must system is used and rounds are added up to determine a decision winner, that Swick at least won two of the three rounds and therefore deserved to win the fight.

And win he did, by unanimous decision. But Swick wasn't satisfied and promises to be an improved fighter come April 7th.

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