Mike Swick is quick – maybe too quick.
“If you get five fights in the UFC and five of them didn’t go past the first round—that’s not good. That’s not a good thing,” said Dave Camarillo. Noted judo and jiu jitsu practitioner Camarillo serves as Swick’s grappling coach at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif. “It might be good for fans, and for sponsors and the hype, but when we’re at the labratory, we’re putting the chemicals together, we’re making the recipe for victory, the experience is a huge driving factor in that,” Camarillo said.
The fighter demolished his first four UFC opponents in only ten seconds more than a regulation three-round fight. But then “Quick” Swick slowed down. His fifth and sixth fights went decisions, the latter a loss to oft-injured middleweight contender Yushin Okami. Swick was injured and dropped to welterweight where he picked up decision wins over Josh Burkman and Marcus Davis.
It may not make fans happy, but Camarillo is pleased as punch. “We want three rounds. We want five rounds,” the trainer said. “[Jon] Fitch is tested. He had a tough, five five-minute round fight with [Georges St-Pierre]. Those were crucial. And when he had his loss, he learned a lot, Swick did. We’re just gonna continue to build.”
And Swick is building, recently achieving the rank of purple belt in Camarillo’s Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu system. The judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt described Swick’s ground game as “night and day what it used to be.”
The largest evolution of Swick’s game, though, is confidence. With teammates and fellow welterweights Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch already coming up short against current champion Georges St-Pierre, Swick has motivation to keep fighting for every breath.
“He’s gunning for that belt without a doubt—with every fight, with every ounce of energy that he puts into that cage,” said Camarillo, joking that the third time is a charm for his team against St-Pierre.
But first there’s the matter of Ben Saunders, a large, undefeated welterweight from American Top Team. Saunders impressed fans at “UFC Fight for the Troops” by turning Brandon Wolff’s face into a church kneeler on the same night that “Quick” disposed of Jonathan Goulet in just 33 seconds.
Camarillo doesn’t expect similar brevity when the two face off. “I think its gonna be a three-round fight. I think its gonna be a three-round war,” he said.
How do you think Swick will fare against Saunders?