(Mike Swick swings on Dan Hardy in a losing effort.)
Mike Swick represents American Kickboxing Academy’s tiebreaker when he meets Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Paulo Thiago at UFC 109 on Feb. 6 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
He is the third AKA welterweight to face Thiago; Josh Koscheck suffered a knockout loss to him at UFC 95 and Jon Fitch beat him by unanimous decision at UFC 100.
“I get a lot of information from Fitch that I can’t really get from the tapes, you know,” said Swick, noting that Fitch beat Thiago at his own game on the mat. “Having that he actually rolled with him and felt his strength and his movement and his positioning, so Fitch has been my main training partner and he’s been helping me out a lot for this fight.”
“Quick” is charging forward after dropping a decision to Dan Hardy in a welterweight title eliminator at UFC 105 in November, a fight he describes as a “tough one to swallow.” The Texas native doesn’t dwell on it though. Within 30 minutes of accepting the short notice bout with the Brazilian, Swick was driving to the gym where two of his teammates already spent full camps preparing for Thiago.
“He’s a very top-level guy with world class jiu-jitsu so it gave me the fire and determination to train hard and be excited about it. It was really a no brainer,” Swick said.
But his teammates’ success and failure against Thiago didn’t factor into Swick’s motivation.
“I care about Koscheck and I care about Fitch and I care about my teammates and everything but you can’t let anything get in the way of your focus for a fight,” said the five-year UFC veteran. “When I get ready for a fight, I just focus on the fight at hand and focus on what I need to do. There’s no real hatred toward Paulo Thiago.”
Locked inside the Octagon, Swick asserts he’ll rebound from the disappointing defeat to Hardy with his best 170-pound performance in six contests against Thiago.
“You got to get up and push forward. That’s what shows you what kind of heart a fighter has,” said Swick. “I think that’s what the fans look at more than your wins and your losses is how you approach the hurdles in your career and how you recover from them.”
Swick spoke with Fox Sports’ Inside the Cage on Reno, Nevada’s 1450 AM, hosted by Greg Delong with co-host Danny Acosta.