After more than nine months of inactivity, Mike Swick returned to action last month to fight Josh Burkman during the main even at UFC Fight Night 12.
The bout marked the welterweight debut for the former contestant on season one of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) after winning six of seven bouts in the middleweight division.
It was an impressive run that put him in contention for the 185-pound title. In fact, if he defeated Yushin Okami in front of his hometown crowd at UFC 69: "Shootout" in April 2007 it would be hard to argue against giving him an opportunity to challenge for the belt.
He didn't win, losing a unanimous decision to the Japanese fighter. And it was after that loss that Swick decided to move from one of the organization's most talent shallow to one of its deepest, the 170-pound class.
Swick revealed that he was on the smaller end of the spectrum in the division and would prefer to go at it with guys more his size even though his training partners at American Kickboxing Academy, Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck, are top welterweight competitors.
MMAmania.com recently exchanged emails with Swick while he was in Thailand. He talks about the lackluster win over Josh Burkman, addresses post-fight comments from "The People's Warrior" that Swick was "scared," sets the record straight for critics who feel he should have stayed at 185 pounds and more in this exclusive interview.
MMAmania.com: Mike we know you are busy traveling and will make this as quick as possible. We know you can appreciate that. So let's get to it. What were your thoughts and feelings on the fight against Josh Burkman?
Mike Swick: I was not happy with my performance.
MMAmania.com: Why did you apologize for the fight?
Mike Swick: Because I felt it was boring to the fans.
MMAmania.com: What do you have to say about his post-fight comments that you were "scared"?
Mike Swick: He is delusional. I knew he would talk after the fight. Thats just his thing, he is not a top level fighter so he has to convince people of how good he thinks he is. He has to sell himself because he knows his performance isn't selling anything. Bottom line, he is not as strong as the top welterweights, he does not have the best takedowns in the division, and he doesn't have the elite standup that he thinks he has. He is a man who is realizing that he doesn't have any qualities that will rise him to the top of this division.
MMAmania.com: How is your hand that needed to be x-rayed after the fight and will it keep you out for an extended period of time?
Mike Swick: It's better. I am back to training with it.
MMAmania.com: How different was it fighting in the welterweight division, as opposed to the middleweight?
Mike Swick: It felt better for me. I felt strong and conditioned.
MMAmania.com: What do you have to say to the folks who feel you "chickened out" when you decided to leave the middleweight division?
Mike Swick: I don't know anyone who said that. I don't think anyone with logic would say something that inaccurate. I did quite well in the middleweight division only taking a decision loss to a current top contender. Who was I afraid of? I had already called out Silva and tried to get that fight.
MMAmania.com: That's right. Before the fight with Okami you went on a PR campaign to fight Anderson. Is that a fight you still want and how would it unfold?
Mike Swick: Stylistically, I still love that fight. I would like to get a bit bigger but would still like it if I can.
MMAmania.com: The talent is by far deeper at 170 than 185. What was the thinking behind the decision process to drop down?
Mike Swick: Because that's my natural division. I have been fighting out of my division my whole career. I train with Kos and Fitch, both of whom usually outweigh me.
MMAmania.com: Who would you like to fight next in the welterweight division? Name some names.Mike Swick: I want to fight them all!
MMAmania.com: Where would you rank yourself in the division right now -- near the top, middle or bottom?
Mike Swick: I wouldn't rank myself until after my next fight.
MMAmania.com: The last two fights you've appeared more cautious than the Swick who used to come out guns blazing. Can we expect to see the "old" Mike Swick return anytime soon?
Mike Swick: Yes.
MMAmania.com: I understand you are going to Thailand, is this for business or pleasure?
Mike Swick: Just got back. It was both. I did a seminar and then relaxed and backpacked through Cambodia and southern Thailand.
MMAmania.com: Thanks Mike. We know you don't have much time. Anything you want to say to your fans, supporters and sponsors before we wrap this thing up?
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