Mike Swick (left) drops the hammer on DaMarques Johnson (right) in the second round of their UFC on Fox 4 main card bout last night. Photo by Esther Lin via MMA Fighting
He showed flashes of his former self early, but Johnson was a game opponent, threatening him on multiple occasions with a surprisingly superior wrestling game and some top control.
Despite Johnson putting some fear into the heart of "Quick" Swick fans, the American Kickboxing Academy product stepped up and in the second round, he made it look like he hadn't missed a beat in his 30 month layoff.
So what helped put Swick over the top? And where do both men go from here?
Follow me after the jump for our Mike Swick vs. DaMarques Johnson UFC on Fox 4 post-fight review and analysis.
Swick looked like he might end it early at the beginning of the first round, living up to his "Quick" moniker and attacking Johnson inside the opening minute with a big burst of strikes that nearly overwhelmed The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season nine veteran.
Johnson stayed in there and when both men were locked up against the cage, he surprised Swick by changing levels and dumping him on his back for a takedown. It was in his defensive wrestling game that Swick showed the most rust as Johnson stayed on top of him for about a minute before he was able to escape.
Again, Swick tried to strike his way to victory but this time, Johnson fired back with a few nice punches of his own on the feet and then he finished the round with yet another takedown, this time holding Swick down until time expired to potentially take the round despite being outstruck for a significant period.
In the second round, Swick's killer instinct kicked in. After scoring a takedown off of a kick from Johnson, Swick dropped to the canvas with a thunderous right hand that blasted "Darkness" right on the jaw. That single punch put Johnson's lights out and the follow-up strikes were just icing on the cake until the referee intervened.
It was enough for Swick to win "Knockout of the Night" as well.
For DaMarques Johnson, he actually held his own in this fight. He was outstruck on the feet, but it wasn't a complete blowout and he got his licks in a few times. He also stepped it up with his offensive grappling, taking Swick down a couple times and controlling him from top position. The biggest difference between the two was damage dealt. When Swick had the advantage, he made sure Johnson was hurting while Johnson seemed content to ride out the round and grind away in the fight instead.
For Mike Swick, this was a terrific return to form getting the finish, but a cause for concern has to be that defensive wrestling and guard play. DaMarques Johnson is not known for his takedowns. In fact, I can't ever remember him taking another fighter down and keeping them on their back before. This is something he needs to put some serious work into because there are some killers in the welterweight division in terms of offensive grappling and if he moves pretty quickly up the divisional ladder, he's going to be fending off takedowns from much more accomplished wrestlers than Johnson.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Is Mike Swick officially back? Do you feel he'll be able to shore up his takedown defense for his next fight? Where would you rank him in the current welterweight division?