by Jeff Cain
Mike Swick was scheduled to face Keith Rockel on the Ultimate Fight Night card tomorrow night live on Spike TV, but a bicep injury forced Rockel out. Gideon Ray stepped up on short notice to take the bout with Swick. Mike spoke with MMAWeekly recently about the late change of opponent, his training, and what he expects to happen on August 6th. Sixteen fighters in sixteen days continues with Mike Swick.

Addressing the opponent change, Mike Swick stated, “We train for everything anyway. I was expecting…more of a ground guy, not as much on my feet, but coincidentally I’ve been working a lot of stand up, and also coincidentally my stand up partner, my boxing training partners and kickboxing are southpaws, so it kind of worked out pretty good considering Gideon’s a southpaw as well.” Discussing his opponent, Gideon Ray, Swick commented, “I think he’s a tough guy. I’ve seen some of his tapes. He appears to be explosive, quick, and I think style wise it’s a good fight for me.”

This is a big fight for Mike Swick. With a win he’ll be in line to take on some of the top guys in the middleweight division. He’s well aware of what this fight means. Mike said, “I just take one fight at a time. I think every fight is my biggest fight, and this is a huge fight for me. A win in this fight would be pretty good, and I would hope to get good opportunities in the UFC, so I’m training really hard, and I’m going to try and go out there and put on a good show.”

Much of Swick’s preparation for this fight was focused on a primarily ground fighter, Keith Rockel. He now faces a stand up fighter in Gideon Ray. Although he has prepared for everything, his strategy may be different. Discussing his strategy Mike said, “I’m going to go out there, and I’m going to bang. You know? I’m not going to sit here and say that I’m only going to bang. I’m not going to sit here and say I’m going to shoot. I’m going to take what’s available. My style’s pretty much the same. I’m going to go out there and try to knock someone out.”

Mike went on to say, “I think that I have improved a lot especially since the show…in all areas. I’m really focused on being completely well rounded. I want my ground game to be the best, and my stand up to be the best, but I think it’s just experience. The more I fight the more comfortable I’m going to be, the more my technique’s going to come into play. I just think each fight’s going to make me a better fighter.”

Tomorrow night, live on Spike TV, we’ll see if Mike Swick can put together another win and get one step closer to UFC middleweight contender. Gideon Ray intends on throwing a monkey wrench in Swick’s plans. They step on the scales today with a lot of weight on their shoulders.