Once a contender in the UFC middleweight division, TUF 1 alum Mike "Quick" Swick made the move down to the UFC welterweight division. He's won three in a row since making the switch, and will be taking on Ben Saunders at UFC 99. MMA4Real was able to catch up with Swick after he visited North Carolina's Ft. Bragg military base in an email interview. Swick talks about his experience of working with the troops, his upcoming fight, getting a title shot, and more. Let's get right to it:
Kelvin Hunt-The last time we saw you in the cage, you were living up to your "Quick" moniker as you finished Jonathan Goulet at the UFC: "Fight For The Troops" event. It was the first time you had finished your opponent since Joe Riggs at UFC 60. How did it feel to get back to finishing your opponents the way you did when you first burst on the UFC scene?
Mike Swick- It felt great! I have learned a great deal over the last year and
I think I am doing what I need to be doing now.
Kelvin Hunt-Obviously, that Ultimate Fight Night event was specifically for the troops here in North Carolina. What was the atmosphere like for you the day before, day of, and right after the event, and is there any particular experience that stand out above anything else?
Mike Swick- It was amazing fighting in front of the troops! Being on the military base before and after the fights was great! I am a big supporter of the military and it was great to come out and help create an exciting show that raised over $2 millionfor the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
Kelvin Hunt-Indeed, that was a great cause. You just recently came back to North Carolina and Ft. Bragg in particular to visit the troops again. What did that visit consist of and will you make the visits to the military base an annual thing?
Mike Swick- Yes, I just got back from attending the Spring BBQ where I
presented a SIG pistol to the winner of a charity raffle to raise money for the readiness program. I found out about this through my friend Mark Gross at Oakgrove Technologies and had to come and donate to the cause as well as present the gun Oakgrove donated. I try and travel to as many bases as I can to show support for our troops. I leave this weekend for Germany to visit a couple US Bases there.
Kelvin Hunt-Ok, let's switch gears a little bit. You just launched a new website at www.mikeswick.com and you are one of the fighters that have a youtube channel to keep your fans up to date with video blogs etc. I think those are great marketing tools and more fighters should do it. Obviously, you want fans to have access to information about you what's going on with you on a daily basis. Are you currently working on anything else in terms of allowing fans to get to know Mike Swick better?
Mike Swick- Yes, I spend so much time on opening my life up to the fans. I think it is very important. When I was coming up, I had people who inspired me but I never could reach out to them. Now that I am in a position that I can inspire others, I want to give them everything I have. I think being successful is measured in how much you can inspire others. Giving back is truly where it's at.
Kelvin Hunt- Good stuff. You'll be fighting Ben Saunders at UFC 99 in what should be an exciting fight since both of you guys usually come to fight. He's a pretty big guy and does he bring anything to the table that could present problems for you?
Mike Swick- Yes, I think it will be very exciting! He is a tough opponent who is scrappy and likes to clinch and bang. I definitely will want to bang so it should be good!
Kelvin Hunt-You've put together 3 wins in a row since moving down to 170.
Most people have you right outside the top ten in the division, and some have you just inside the top ten. Your two AKA teammates are ranked higher with Fitch as the #3 and Koshcheck between #4 and #7 by most depending on who you ask. I know you are not looking past Ben Saunders at UFC 99. However, do you think it's fair to say that you should have to fight and beat at least one of your AKA teammates on your path towards earning a title shot in the welterweight division?
Mike Swick- I just fight who they tell me. Ben's name came up as an available
opponent and I said ok. I think an exciting win in Germany will grant
me a title shot. At least, thats what I hope.
Kelvin Hunt-Are there any business ventures you are working on outside of MMA? Movies, TV shows, etc.
Mike Swick- Yes, I am creating a clothing line. It is primarily for the military but will include MMA as well. The line is called "Combat Life" and will soon be available at MyCombatLife.com. I am a big supporter of our Military and travel around to show support when I can. Though I donate to charities, most of the regular soldiers in combat who don't experience life threatening illness or death, don't receive anything. I wanted to find a way to give back to the soldiers who give all but don't necessarily suffer from serious trauma, so that's kinda why I came up with this line. There are not a lot of clothing lines that cater to the military. It's kind of a hobby
as of now. I want it to grow, but if it doesn't thats ok, this is not my main job and I feel good giving back. I have already sent boxes of stuff over to Iraq and Afghanistan and they loved it. I also recently passed out a bunch at Fort Bragg while there.
Kelvin Hunt-That's fantastic. I have to mention this. I've been fantasizing about a matchup between you and Anthony Johnson as I think it would be explosive. What do you think about that matchup and give me your thoughts on Johnson as a fighter?
Mike Swick-I think it would be an exciting fight. Johnson is a very exciting and tough opponent. His trainer is a teammate of mine so he's kinda linked to my gym in that way. If we have to fight we would though.
Kelvin Hunt-*Inserts A Diego Sanches(YES!) UFC 100: Thiago Alves vs. GSP. Who wins and why?
Mike Swick- It's hard to say. Either can do it but I think the edge will be for GSP.
Kelvin Hunt-Do you have any parting thoughts and/or anyone you would like to thank?
Mike Swick-Thanks for the interview! For more, please check out the brand new
www.MikeSwick.com as well as www.outube.com/OfficialSwick and www.Myspace.com/mikeswick
Mike we at MMA4Real would like to thank you for taking time out to speak with us and our readers. Good luck in your UFC 99 matchup against Ben Saunders and we look forward to having you on again the next time you visit North Carolina.