Mike Swick was almost overwhelmed backstage after his win over Demetrious Johnson at ‘UFC On FOX 4’ last night.
The 33 year-old has had a rough road to travel the last couple of years which he’s spent out of the Octagon battling with an illness that threatened to end his career so he was relieved to have got right back to winning ways upon his return.
“It’s tough, it’s just been such a long road, man,” Swick told Ariel Helwani, his voice quivering with emotion. “I just wanted to win so bad.”
After his long absence from fighting, Swick admitted that it took a little adjusting to get back into the swing of things.
“It didn’t feel like my first fight, but it does feel a little different when you haven’t fought in so long. Mid-way through the fight I was like, ‘Ok, now I feel a little more comfortable, now I know what this is all about.
Experiencing that crowd – that was what shocked me the most. In the locker room I just felt like I was back at work, you know? But when you walk out in front of that crowd and the lights are on in the Octagon it’s a different animal, so..it’s great, it’s overwhelming, but it can be too much and you can lose sight that your in a big fight. So, I had to balance that out a little bit, and I think I did at the end.”
Due to Swick’s illness and injury woes there had been concerns pre-fight about how his body would cope in the fight, but thankfully that didn’t prove detrimental to his performance.
“It held up man, it feels great. I’m actually in really good shape. At no point was I tired – just frustrated a bit ‘cus I was trying things that I shouldn’t have tried, letting him stay in positions he shouldn’t. I stayed on the ground way too long. I worked a lot on getting up and I feel like I could’ve, but I was trying to go for certain things and he was too good to get ’em and I should’ve given up on it.”
Swick’s moniker ‘Quick’ comes from his reputation for finishing fights swiftly, and while that didn’t happen in the first round, he had every intention of doing so in the second.
“By round two it was 100% trying to finish. I had enough of round one to know, ok this is fun, I gotta finish this fight, you know, I want this fight to be over, so every punch I threw was hard, it was too end the fight. He gave me an opening, he threw a kick. When he’s giving me a limb that he’s balancing on – he has two legs, when he gave me one I put him down, you know what I mean? If I get one of his legs I’m going to throw him down and then land that hard right punch. Thank god it landed right on his face and then got the knockout, ‘cus he’s a tough kid.”
As for what comes next, Swick admits he hasn’t given it a second thought yet.
“Oh man, I haven’t even though about it. There’s so many guys, there’s so many. I just wanna get back in there. I feel a lot better now that I’ve had this fight and I think it’s going to elevate me to another level.”