When Mike Swick and Matt Brown step into the Octagon, you can always expect a war. So when the two veterans of 13 UFC fights each fight each other in the opening bout of Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 5 event, don’t expect anything less.
It’s actually kind of surprising that Swick, who has a 10-3 record in the UFC, and Brown, who is 8-5 fighting in the Octagon, haven’t yet bumped into each other inside the steel cage, but now, on the big stage of FOX, there’s no better time for these two experienced mixed martial artists to tango, especially now that Swick is finally healthy for once.
The American Kickboxing Academy representative had missed over two years of action due to a variety of injuries and illnesses, but finally returned to the cage at this past August’s UFC on FOX 4 event, when he took on DaMarques Johnson in the evening’s opening main card bout.
Not an easy fight at all for someone coming off major injuries, especially with the big lights of FOX looming overhead, and against a tough opponent, to boot.
Swick, who was recently a guest on MMASucka.com radio, told host Jeremy Brand that there was absolutely added pressure in fighting on such a big card.
“Yeah, there was some added pressure. When I started fighting, there was no FOX deal. Fighting on FOX is huge and it’s not something I thought I’d do. So to fight on it in my first fight back was added pressure. I don’t know how much it affected the fight but it was definitely in the back of my mind. But I focused on the fight and pulled through and got the win.”
And with that FOX experience in his back pocket, and with the ring rust gone, Swick says the pressure off his shoulders isn’t there for the fight with Brown.
“(The pressure) will be gone for this one. I’m just focused on the fight. It’s just another day at the office. It will be exciting to get back in there and have lots of viewership when I’m actually healthy.”
According to Swick, he was offered the fight with Brown just says after getting out of the hospital following the Johnson bout, but he didn’t have to think twice about accepting it.
“I took this fight a few days after I got out of the hospital. I was on crutches and had my arm and knee operated on but I knew I’d be ready. So it wasn’t short notice but it wasn’t ideal. Ideally you’d like to rehab your body and then get into fight camp but we have to make our decisions and live by them. It’s just one of those things that you just have to think about all your experiences fighting in the past and if you can get in shape in time. I’ve been doing martial arts for 25 years so I have a good idea of if I can get in shape or not.”
And get into shape is what Swick did. The 33-year old says that for Brown, conditioning was the biggest thing, and that’s why he decided he needed to get into the best shape of his entire career.
“My conditioning is the best it’s ever been. I know Brown pushes the pace and comes forward so I want to be able to meet him and push a faster and more explosive pace. I’ve worked really hard on my cardio so I can keep that explosive power for as long as I need it. I hope to end it in the first or second but if it goes three rounds I want to know I can push the pace fast and hard the entire time. And I’m extremely confident right now that I can do that.”
Swick says the key to victory against the durable Brown is to be patient and find an opening when he sees it, however slight that opening may be.
“I’m just gonna try and find openings like I always do. I’m going to move around and look to set up openings with big strikes. We’ve look at Matt’s tape and we’re looking to find the openings and get that big strike or the takedown. I want to dictate the way the fight goes.”
And if Swick can have it his way, the fight is going to end quickly and brutally – for his opponent, that is.
“In my mind, I see this fight ending by knockout towards the end of the first round, me being the victor.”