September 21, 2006

by Matt Hill for MMAWeekly.com
Choke? Elbow? Knockout? Submission? How will this fight go down? Well, on September 23, at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California, Mike ‘Quick’ Swick will have the opportunity to reply to one of these question marks with an exclamation point, when he goes head to head with David Loiseau for top UFC middleweight contender status.

Swick is a fiery competitor who has racked up a nice streak of wins since making his UFC debut in 2005. With victories over Alex Schoenauer, Gideon Ray, Steve Vigneault, and Joe Riggs, Swick seems to be catapulting himself to the crest of the middleweight division and is doing so in ‘quick’ and devastating fashion.

Many fans got to know Swick through his participation in the highly successful UFC reality show, “The Ultimate Fighter,” where he competed in the light-heavyweight division, one weight class up from his normal weight of 185 pounds.

While on the reality show, the only fight Swick had was against his teammate Stephan Bonnar, the easy going Chicago native. To the surprise of many fans, Swick nearly tapped the Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu student with a guillotine choke early in Round 1. Bonnar survived the choke, though, and went on to catch Swick in an armbar triangle. Bonnar eventually went on to fight Forrest Griffin in the finals, in a fight that many fans consider one of the greatest of all time.

Swick did more on the show than impress fans, however, ‘Quick’ also impressed coaches Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture with his work ethic and drive to succeed. Couture said of Swick, “Mike Swick brings a warriors spirit. A lot of times that will be enough to put him over the top,” said Couture.

Even though Swick sports an unbeaten 4-0 record since coming to the UFC, some fans wonder if this reality star is really on the same level as a David Loiseau, Anderson Silva, or Rich Franklin. These fans may have a point after all. Anyone that remembers when Rich Franklin fought Nate Quarry in UFC 56 recalls a short, one-sided fight that left Quarry stiff on the floor courtesy of a Franklin left-hand. Even more recently, we saw Anderson Silva tee-off on Chris Leben, leaving “The Crippler” in a piled heap on the Octagon floor.

Maybe there is something to the theory that the reality show fighters are being thrown to the wolves a little too early, but maybe there isn’t.

“I’m looking forward to my fight with David Loiseau. He is a great competitor. I think Loiseau is a top middleweight contender in the UFC, and I want to go in there and show that I belong,” said Swick.

But don’t make the mistake and think that Swick is looking past Loiseau, though, “I am taking this fight with Loiseau very seriously,” said Swick. “Loiseau gave Franklin his only decision, and he proved that he could take a beating if that’s the case. I see him as being the #1 middleweight contender in the UFC, so I take it very, very serious.”

Swick seems very focused for this fight, and on this coming Saturday, he will get to answer some of these lingering questions: Are the TUF reality show fighters ready for enhanced competition? Does Mike Swick deserve a title shot with the winner of Franklin/Silva? Can Mike Swick maintain his ‘quick’ moniker?

Tune in Saturday night to watch ‘Quick’ vs. ‘The Crow’ and find out.