Remember Mike Swick?
If you don't, it's understandable. After all, he's been out of action for a little under two and a half years due to nagging injuries that have prevented the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) trained fighter from competing inside the Octagon.
After losing to Paulo Thiago way back at UFC 109 in February of 2010, Swick was struck with a stomach ailment that prevented him from holding down any food, thus not allowing him to keep on any weight. "Quick" was then lined up to take on Brazilian welterweight phenom Erick Silva at UFC 134 in Aug. of 2011, but the injury bug struck again as a he blew out his ACL and tore his MCL, sending him back to the sidelines to recuperate.
Now, after months of grueling rehab, the former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) contestant is back and ready to get back into the swing of things as he takes on fellow TUF alum DaMarques Johnson at UFC on Fox 4 on Aug. 4, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
Make the jump to see what Swick told MMA Frenzy about his long road back to the Octagon:
"I feel great, this fight camp has been so beautiful. It feels so amazing to be so close to getting back inside the Octagon. It's been so long since the last time I was in there competing. I could not be more excited about this fight. I was going through health issues for awhile, pretty much all through my time as a welterweight. Things just kept getting worse so I decided it was in my best interest that I take some time off to address the problems I was having. I needed to figure out how to combat the problem and get my health back. I had to figure what foods were safe for me to eat and I thought that we had gotten it under control so we signed on to fight in July of last year. I was scheduled to face Erick Silva at UFC 134 in Brazil and we went through a whole fight camp and I felt great. Then with about two weeks left before the fight I took a hit to the side of my knee and blew out my ACL, tore my MCL and my meniscus. I had to have my knee rebuilt and was forced to start the whole process over again. It takes an entire year to recover from an injury like that."
During his recovery, Swick made sure to make the most of his time off:
"I did whatever I could do to stay active and in the gym. When I couldn't walk or do anything I did a lot of support tours for the military. I went overseas and visited the troops. I spent a lot of time in Thailand and did some business there. I am also looking at opening up a gym and put a lot of energy in to making that happen. I just tried to stay busy while at the same time get back to 100 percent. It's been a good year as far as getting healthier and learning. I really grew as a person and as a fighter. I think this is a great time for me to come back, I'm really excited about fighting and not being a spectator anymore."
Before going on his current two fight skid, Swick was one of the most promising young mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in the sport, amassing a 9-1 record with the UFC, competing at both middleweight and welterweight.
Once considered to be a title contender at 170 pounds, Swick will return to the Octagon in a time when the division is a stacked and log-jammed as never before. With Georges St. Pierre still reigning supreme atop the mountain and Carlos Condit sharing the throne, the line of contenders who are hoping to vie for the title is a rather long one indeed with Johny Hendricks, Martin Kampmann and Rory MacDonald all looking to make a claim for the next shot at the gold.
It won't be easy, but just getting back into the Octagon after a tough two years of dealing through injuries is a victory in and of itself.
How about it, can Swick return back to the form he once enjoyed before his two fight losing steak and the string of injuries? Or will the layoff prove to be too long?