Las Vegas, Nevada–On the same card as four light heavyweight warriors compete to be next in line for a UFC® title shot, one athlete has already overcome enormous obstacles to simply be competing on the UFC On FOX card (live at 8pm ET/5pm PT) live from Los Angeles.
By the time he steps into the Octagon at the STAPLES Center it will have been been two years, five months and 30 days – 911 days in total – since welterweight contender Mike ‘Quick’ Swick, 14-4, last fought. A seven year veteran of the UFC and one of the original ‘Ultimate Fighter’ cast members, the popular Texan has battled a series of health issues including a condition called esophageal spasm which threatened his career.
Swick on his illness : “I would wake in the night feeling like I had a heart attack. I wasn’t getting any sleep at all during camps or even during the week of fights. I got misdiagnosed a couple of times but eventually they found it was esophageal spasm, which would give me cramps and pains when I was trying to sleep.
“I never thought about wanting to quit myself. But there was a time where I thought my career might be over, talking to the doctors. If I couldn’t eat like an athlete, if I couldn’t rest my body, I was finished. But, slowly, I learned to control the condition through diet. The only thing diet-wise that is different for me is I miss all those great foods that taste good. Career wise, it is under control.”
On finally getting back to Octagon: “I think in a way I’ve preserved a lot of my athletic prime while dealing with my health issues. Over the last two years I’ve not taken any damage to my body or head in a way that eight or 12 fights would have done. Even though I had to miss out on all those fights, I feel I’m coming back more healthy than ever. I’m faster than I’ve ever been, I’ve worked speed non-stop for two years, and I’m more motivated and hungry. That fire that used to burn is even bigger. So I’m definitely far from done, and I think this is a whole new beginning for me.”
To sit there and watch that many shows go by and not fight, it’s really tough. But everyone’s been super supportive and everywhere I go, people come up and shake my hand and show support and they’re excited for my return. So it makes me feel good to know that I haven’t been forgotten.”
On UFC On FOX opponent DaMarques Johnson: “I love how he pressures and comes forward, he looks for the finish, and he’s not a boring fighter. He’s not gonna try to hang on to me or win a decision, and I think it’s gonna be a great matchup for the fans. He’s the perfect fight to showcase that I am back.”
Also live from the Los Angeles’ STAPLES Center, former light heavyweight champion and karate expert Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida battles Ryan “Darth” Bader, a thunderous puncher and former NCAA All-American wrestler. Then, in the five round main event, one of the greatest of all time, former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, fights on free TV when he throws down with a resurging Brandon “The Truth” Vera.
Tickets for UFC® on FOX: SHOGUN vs. VERA are on sale now are priced at $200, $150, $100, $85, $70, $45 and $30. Tickets will be available at the STAPLES Center Box Office or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets are subject to convenience and service fees.
For more information or current fight news, visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
About the Ultimate Fighting Championship®
Universally recognized for its action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing, UFC produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world. In 2011, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FX and FUEL TV. This also includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter®, which now airs on FX.
In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 149 countries and territories, to nearly one billion homes worldwide, in 20 different languages. UFC content is also distributed commercially in the United States to bars and restaurants through Joe Hand Promotions, in English throughout Canada via Premium Sports Broadcasting Inc. and in French throughout Quebec via Interbox. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with over two million followers on Twitter. Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs, an internationally distributed magazine, UFC.TV offering live event broadcasts and video on demand around the world, the best-selling UFC Undisputed® video game franchise distributed by THQ, and a new franchise in development with EA, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel and trading cards.