Mike “The Quick” Swick is looking to prove that he deserves a title shot at Georges St. Pierre. But just two short months ago, Swick was scheduled to fight for that chance in his home state of Texas against Danish striker Martin Kampmann. After a concussion suffered in training, Swick unfortunately had to be forced out of that bout.
Now Swick is recovered and ready for the weekends fight at UFC 105 in Europe. Swick is going up against a tough opponent in Englishman Dan Hardy (22-6 MMA, 3-0 UFC). Swick has his work cut out for him. The 30 year old Swick is, (14-2 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and he is anxious to get a shot at that Welterweight UFC Title.
Traveling through eight time zones to arrive in Manchester, Swick will certainly have to adjust his body to the jetlag from the trip.
“I go a little early, and within two days, I’m completely acclimated,” Swick said. “It’s exciting because it’s a new place. I get to go around and see the sights and just relax during the daytime, which is kind of cool. Then I have plenty of time to get focused on the fight, get my training in. Then it’s the fight, and after that, I always stay a few extra days and just kind of relax and sightsee and head back.”
When Swick fought at UFC 85 in London, he did so against Marcus Davis. While “The Irish Hand Grenade’s” Irish heritage has earned him a European following, it will be paltry compared to the roar expected when Hardy makes his way to the cage. Swick said the hostile environment won’t factor into his performance.
“The thing is, the crowd is important after the fight,” Swick said. “That’s when I listen to them the most. When I walk out, it’s always good to get cheered and everything, but I assume that’s going to be for Hardy.
“It’s not going to affect the fight. It isn’t going to make me a worse fighter, and I don’t think it’s going to make him a better fighter.”
Swick said the pressure of performing in front of his home crowd could actually hamper Hardy’s performance.
“It’ll either bother him and put more pressure on him when he walks out and he’s got all that fan base behind him and crack him down a little, or it could motivate him,” Swick said. “But as far as skills, he’s only going to be the same fighter, and so am I. At then end of the day, we’re going to be inside the octagon, and we’re going to be fighting. I don’t think the crowd really has much control over that. I’m going to be game for this fight no matter what, no matter how he comes at me – whether he’s nice or whether he wants to talk trash, It doesn’t matter. I’m just focused on getting this win and having a good performance against Dan Hardy. I’ve got to go out there, and I’ve got to step up and perform – prove to the world that I’m a No. 1 contender.”
Swick has taken a long detour on his way to contending for a title shot at GSP due to injuries, but he is back on track and is determined to take that belt from GSP. But first, Swick is well aware that he needs to earn a shot and not just ask for one.
“I want to earn a title shot, I’ve never been given anything, and I don’t want to be given anything, Dan Hardy’s a great fighter. He’s very talented, and if everything goes how we planned, and how the camp’s going, I’m going to be able to go out there and prove that I deserve to fight Georges St-Pierre, and that I can beat him. I’m real excited to get out there and do that.”
Well as much as a challenge Dan Hardy will present to Mike Swick ,he is still no GSP, but it is as good as a start as any leading into a fight with “Rush”, and as talented as Swick, is he is going to need all the practice he can get before stepping into the ring with the welterweight champion. I really hope Swick gets his shot because it will be a fast paced action filled fight if and when those two square off.