by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Mike ‘Quick’ Swick confirmed that Jonathan Goulet will be his first opponent as a welterweight at Ultimate Fight Night 11 September 19, at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV and voiced his disappointment about Chris Leben turning down the rematch that Swick has wanted since his loss to Leben three years ago.
“Apparently, from what I know, [Chris] Leben made some kind of inclination that he was going to drop [weight classes] or something to the UFC, so the UFC in turn asked me if I wanted to take the fight because obviously they were like that’s a great time for both of us to fight. It would be a great main event for Spike TV leading into The Ultimate Fighter 6. We obviously said yes right away. The UFC was really excited about it. Spike TV was really excited about it. We were excited about it, and more importantly the fans were really excited. So, we were waiting to hear back from Leben and about a week went by, and so I was thinking that he was probably debating whether he could make 170 or not because it would be his first time as well. I told Bob [Cook] to let the UFC know that we’ll take the fight, obviously, at any weight class just because we wanted it that bad. We could do a catch weight, 175, or 180, or even if we had to go 185, that’s fine just to get the fight done. After a week of waiting he came back and said that I guess he didn’t want to do the fight or whatever, so it was called off,” Swick told MMAWeekly.
Swick has been eying a rematch with Leben since January 16, 2004, the night Leben handed him his first career loss at WEC 9 by knockout. With obvious disappointment in his voice, Swick said, “It’s really frustrating, and it upsets me because not only do we want the fight really bad, but the fans want the fight really bad. It’s a perfect time to do it, and I think it’s just ridiculous that we can’t go ahead and do it. It’s not like I’m asking for an instant rematch. I mean it’s been three years, and he promised me a rematch anytime I wanted. He’d fight me anytime, anywhere, and this, that, and the other. And like you said, he has been holding that over my head for three years. Every chance he gets he mentions how he beat me, and I think he likes that, and I don’t think he wants to risk that. I think it’s cowardly that he wants to hang onto that so bad that he’s never going to let me have the opportunity to avenge that loss, because it was a long time ago, and we were both swinging bombs in that fight and he was rocked when he knocked me out. It could have went either way that night and more less now. I think I’ve improved a lot. I think I’ve done a lot as far as my career goes, and I think I definitely deserve it. I don’t know. I think it’s pretty bad that he’s not doing that.”
He continued, “It’s just ridiculous that he’s going to do that. He holds this above my head, and he’s done it every since the show. I think it’s the only thing he’s got that he can say, and he doesn’t want to risk it. Whether that’s smart or not smart on his part, I don’t know. It just sucks because I can’t make the guy fight me. You know? The UFC couldn’t make him fight me, so I definitely can’t make him fight me. I just hope he changes his mind and we might be able to do it in the future or something like that.”
Leben turning down the fight with Swick ended Mike’s fighting career as a middleweight, at least for now. “I’ll be fighting at 170 now that he backed out…I’m going to be the same weight in my next fight as I’ve been in my last three fights. The only difference is I’m going to cut weight before the fight. I mean I was 181 pounds in the ring with [Yushin] Okami who was gigantic. I mean he must have been 200 pounds in there. He was huge. I’ll probably be 181, even maybe more when I fight in September. I’m just going to have to cut before the fight which I usually don’t do just because I don’t like cutting weight, and I enjoy eating and drinking, and it was working out for me. It was getting to the point where I was getting smaller and the opponents were getting bigger, and it’s just ridiculous to think I can get away with walking into the ring with this level of competition and giving up that much weight and coming out ahead every time. It’s about time I at least start fighting guys my own size,” said the former UFC middleweight contender.
With Leben out of the picture and no opponent in sight, one materialized in Jonathan Goulet. Goulet posted on MMAWeekly’s SoundOff Forum calling Swick out, accusing him of turning down a fight and ducking the Canadian UFC veteran.
Addressing Goulet’s allegations, Swick commented, “He didn’t call me out, he just blatantly lied. He went on the Internet and said I chickened out of a fight with him, and that I don’t want what he has, and he’s going to do this and do that to me. I never even knew he was in the equation. That caught me completely off guard.”
With Goulet’s statements, Swick’s next opponent became crystal clear. Swick said, “It worked out because we had been trying to get a deal done with some other guys, and they were falling through. The other guys were UFC fighters and stuff and pretty big names, and we were excited about the fights. They just kept falling through whether their scheduling or whatever, so we were kind of stumped for an opponent anyway, and he’s a decent opponent. I mean he’s tough. He’s a talented fighter. He’s beat some good guys, so they were like he wants to do it. Do you want to do it? I was like, for sure. You know, I want to fight the guy that’s calling me out and saying he’s going to do this and do that to me because that’s the kind of guy I like to fight. It’s a challenge. This guy is hungry. He wants to come in there and do all this talking, and we’ll see. We’ll see when we get in there. I said yes. I signed the contract that night, the second it came in.”
Swick went on to say, “We were asking for just any tough competition at welterweight. I’m not looking for easy fights. I like to challenge myself. I want to fight the best fighters out there. Like I said, Jonathan’s a good opponent. He’s beat some good people. He’s had an unfortunate series of fights in the UFC, and I’m sure he’s looking to revamp his career, so I guess he made the right move, but I kind of don’t respect the way he want about doing it. He could have called me out without blatantly lying and saying I turned down the fight with him when I didn’t even know he was asking for the fight. If he wants to threaten me and say he wants to do this and that, than that’s fine. I like that. You know? I can’t wait to make him eat those words when we get in there. If he wants to have that attitude, he can save it up and open it right up in the octagon when we get in there…We’ll see if he can back up that tough talk.”