Photos by Esther Lin
MMAmania's Brian Hemminger takes a closer look at Saturday night's UFC on Fox 5 main card fight between Mike Swick and Matt Brown. What' the key to victory for both men? Find out below.
Record: 15-4 overall, 10-3 in the UFC
Key Wins: DaMarques Johnson (UFC on Fox 4), Ben Saunders (UFC 99), Marcus Davis (UFC 85)
Key Losses: Dan Hardy (UFC 105), Paulo Thiago (UFC 109)
How he got here: Mike Swick got his first big break in the WEC, although he would lose his undefeated record at the hands of Chris Leben. The UFC was so impressed with both fighters that they invited both Swick and Leben to be cast members of original season of The Ultimate Fighter where Swick competed as an extremely undersized light heavyweight.
He would lose to Stephan Bonnar on the show, but Swick made a huge impression in the UFC, winning his first five fights in the promotion including two in under 30 seconds which earned him the nickname "Quick" Swick.
After a loss to Yushin Okami, Swick felt he was overpowered by the bigger, stronger grappler and decided to make the cut down to welterweight. He was on the verge of title contention after four straight victories but a loss to Dan Hardy at UFC 105 changed everything as "The Outlaw" stole his heat and got the shot instead.
Swick tried to have a quick turnaround against Paulo Thiago but was choked unconscious by the Brazilian special forces member and that was the last time we've seen him in the Octagon. Since then, he's suffered from all sorts of ailments from strange misdiagnosed diseases to a brutal knee injury last August which have kept him from the Octagon for nearly two and a half years. He finally returned for the last Fox event and knocked DaMarques Johnson silly with ground and pound.
He'll be hoping to stay on the winning track on Saturday night..
How he gets it done: Swick needs to be extremely aggressive again. That's what got him here and that's what made him a contender at both middleweight and welterweight. He earned the nickname "Quick" for a reason, because he would blitz opponents, overwhelm them and force an extremely quick finish.
Brown's biggest weakness has been on the ground. While Swick isn't a tremendous wrestler, he's got a solid submission game and his guillotine is as good as anyone's. If he can rush forward and pressure Brown into the fence, he could leave an opening for a drop guard guillotine which is "Quick's" specialty.
If he can't pull that off, expect to see Swick work his stand-up with powerful kicks and punches. Brown is durable so he can't punch himself out if "Immortal" isn't going away, but if his technique is smooth, he should be able to outwork the veteran over the course of three rounds. .
Pressure will be key for Swick to remain on his winning ways. .
Record: 15-11 overall, 8-5 in the UFC
Key Wins: Stephen Thompson (UFC 145), Luis Ramos (UFC on FX 4), James Wilks (UFC 105)
Key Losses: Seth Baczyinski (UFC 139), Chris Lytle (UFC 116), Brian Foster (UFC 123)
How he got here: Matt Brown has had an extremely up and down roller coaster career both inside and outside the Octagon. Never one to turn down a tough fight, he fought extremely tough competition in his pre-UFC career, defeating the likes of Douglas Lima and Matt Arroyo while losing to opponents like Pete Spratt
He was chosen as a participant of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season seven and won his first two fights on the show, but was eliminated by the eventual winner Amir Sadollah via submission in the final eight.
His UFC debut was strong, winning four of his first five fights while only losing a split decision to Dong Hyun Kim and stopping all four of his victories. This earned him some higher caliber opposition but he was not up to the task.
Brown suffered a rough three fight losing streak, getting submitted three straight times by Brian Foster, Chris Lytle and Ricardo Almeida but the UFC believed in him and his ability to entertain so he remained employed. After trading wins and losses, he got back to his killer ways with a second round knockout of Chris Cope.
He took "Wonderboy" Stephen Thompson's best shot at UFC 145 and came back to beat the karate expert down with ground and pound and pressure on the feet. In his last fight, he endured Luis Ramos' best shot again and put the Brazilian down with punches in the second round.
Now, Brown is potentially looking at his first four fight winning streak of his career. Mike Swick won't be easy, but the milestone is worth it.
How he gets it done: They key for Brown is pressure, pressure, pressure. He loves to get in fighters' faces and pound on them. That's what made him such a scary opponent during the early stretch of his UFC career and that's what he went away from when he was losing.
Brown is very powerful and he's extremely durable. He should do whatever it takes to stay standing, not give Swick any room to breathe on the feet and just pound away with punches and elbows on the inside. He's got some underrated Muay Thai skills and Swick is a fighter who could leave open opportunities to close the distance and use it.
If the stand-up is not working, Brown also has a chance to use his wrestling. That's what helped him defeat John Howard and Stephen Thompson and Swick showed in his return fight against DaMarques Johnson that he had a bit of trouble off of his back.
"The Immortal" has a shot to take him down and beat him up if Swick gives him an opening and he shouldn't be afraid to take it. He'll just have to watch his neck on the way in.
Fight X-Factor: They key for this fight is all about pressure and distance. Mike Swick probably wants to keep his distance on the feet to utilize his reach and technique with jabs, straight rights and kicks. Matt Brown wants to close the distance and pound away with dirty boxing, knees and elbows. Whoever controls distance is going to be well on their way to winning this fight.
The other factor is Brown's issues with defending submissions. He's been tapped in his last four UFC losses so if Swick can slap on his guillotine choke or something equally lethal, it could be lights out for "The Immortal."
Bottom Line: Both fighters are aggressive, nasty and capable of finishing a fight. This is a perfect opener for the main card as the Ultimate Fighting Championship could have predicted. Both Swick and Brown are at similar points of their careers at the moment and this fight has some serious potential for fireworks. Expect heavy strikes from both parties with a chance that either man could go down. Swick has a submission advantage but potentially is a bit behind in wrestling so this fight is completely up for grabs.
Who will come out on top at UFC on Fox 5? Tell us your predictions in the comments below!
Which welterweight veteran will reign supreme in the UFC on Fox 5 main card-opening bout?
Mike Swick (62 votes)
Matt Brown (29 votes)
91 total votes