There are huge title implications on August 4, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for UFC on Fox 4. Brandon Vera and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua are fighting in the main event. Ryan Bader and Lyoto Machida square off in the co-main event.
Dana White stated whoever has the most impressive win out of these four guys will get the next title shot in the light heavyweight division.
While, those two fights have huge significance in determining a lot in the 205-pound division, the most intriguing fight is happening in the middleweight division.
Mike "Quick" Swick makes his UFC return after being out for two-and-a-half years. His last fight was a loss to Paulo Thiago at UFC 109 on February 6, 2010.
Swick was diagnosed with dyspepsia, a stomach ailment, in 2007. He continued to fight with this ailment, and dropped down to 170-pounds because he had to cut back on his calorie intake.
However, he was misdiagnosed in 2007, and was not diagnosed properly until late 2009. He was dealing with esophageal spasms, which is treatable, unlike dyspepsia.
During these injuries Swick was still one of the best welterweights in the world. He was one win away from fighting George St. Pierre for the welterweight belt, but lost a unanimous decision to Dan Hardy. The loss to Hardy ended his four-fight win streak and things just continued to get worse.
After being diagnosed correctly, Swick thought things would get back on track.
He thought wrong.
Swick decided to move back up to middleweight after his second consecutive loss to Paulo Thiago. He was able to consume more food and increase his calorie intake after he was properly diagnosed.
He was scheduled to fight David Mitchell in January 2011, but Mitchell pulled out with an injury. Swick withdrew from the card instead of asking for a new opponent, citing his esophageal spasms were an issue.
Finally in August 2011, at UFC 134, Swick felt like he finally had his stomach ailment under control and was ready to get back inside the Octagon against rising prospect Erick Silva.
Swick felt great in training and was less than a month away from his fight with Silva.
Until bad luck struck again.
While training with former American Kickboxing Academy partner, Josh Koscheck, he tore his ACL while rolling on the mat.
At this point, most people would have gave in and moved onto something else. Over four years of dealing with a stomach ailment, torn ACL, and never catching a break, Swick never thought about giving up on his dream of becoming a UFC champion.
Swick has been waiting 909 days to get back inside the Octagon, and on August 4, he will start the party at Staples Center. Mike Swick is the first fight of four that will be featured on Fox.
Swick is fighting DaMarques Johnson, who like Swick, was an Ultimate Fighter alum. Johnson was the runner-up of season nine. He comes in 15-10 overall and 4-4 in the UFC. He is a tough and scrappy fighter who looks to bang, but he is not the most technical fighter and gets sloppy at times.
Mike Swick comes in 14-4 overall and is 9-3 in the UFC. Half of his 14 wins have been by knockout. Swick also has three career submission wins. He has beaten the likes of Ben Saunders, Jonathon Goulet, Marcus Davis, Josh Burkman, David Loiseau, Joe Riggs, and Gideon Ray in his UFC career.
He is a very well-rounded fighter and trains with one of the best camps in the world. American Kickboxing Academy trains some of the best fighters in the world. Cain Velasquez, Jon Fitch, Daniel Cormier, Cung Le, Gray Maynard, Marius Zaromskis, and Josh Thomson are just some of the guys who train at AKA. Swick is getting some of the best training in the world, and this should help with his two-plus year layoff.
AKA founder, Javier Mendez, is one of the most respected trainers in the world. He is a former two-time world champion kickboxer. He should give Mike Swick the perfect gameplan against Johnson on August 4, that should play dividends.
Mike Swick making his long awaited return is one of the most inspirational stories in sports. A lot of people would have gave up and threw in the towel. He continued to battle adversity and showed tremendous resolve.
It is a great thing to see Swick finally make his return, win or lose, he is already a winner.