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Longtime UFC veteran Mike Swick eyes return to middleweight

Mike Swick is hoping to avoid a "sickly" cut to 170 pounds by returning to middleweight, where he was 5-1 inside the Octagon before switching things up.

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when Mike Swick was perhaps one fight away from challenging for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight title.

Despite coming up short on the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), the Texan was able to win his first five fights inside the Octagon with four finishes. After turning away former division number one contender, David Loiseau, "Quick" was tasked with battling Japanese juggernaut Yushin Okami at UFC 69 in early 2007.

After getting pushed around for 15 minutes by his larger opponent, Swick made the hasty decision to shed some skin and try his luck at 170 pounds.

In the beginning, it looked like the right move. Four straight wins -- including a 33 second knockout over Jonathan Goulet -- and Swick was once again setting himself up for a run at the title.

Then the shit hit the fan.

Back-to-back losses to Dan Hardy and Paulo Thiago knocked him out of contention, while a battle with esophageal spasms sidelined him for over two years. When he finally did return, he went 1-1, planishing DaMarques Johnson last August before getting knocked out by Matt Brown just four months later.

Time to go back to the drawing board.

"I wanna come back at a big and healthy 185," Swick said on Twitter. "No more sickly 170 for me!"

No date or potential opponent has been named for his eventual return so we'll leave it to you, the mixed martial arts (MMA) fan, to let us know what match up you'd like to see.

Mike Swick vs. ________?

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