Mike Swick is a life long martial artist who first started competing at the age of 8. He fought Nationally in Tae-Kwon-Do competitions until his teenage years. From there, he would transition into Kickboxing. While watching a UFC event with friends, Mike discovered MMA and immediately sought out training. In 1996 he began training MMA and started competing in amateur bouts in Texas. After 21 amateur MMA fights, Mike won his first pro fight via rear naked choke in 1998. Mike then devoted his whole life to the sport and started traveling to Thailand to improve his striking. In 2001, Mike made the journey to California to train at Javier Mendez’s AKA gym.
Mike had 4 successful pro fights under the AKA banner when he got selected to be a castmate on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. From there, he got his first official UFC fight on The Ultimate Fighter Finale, live on Spike TV. Mike made quick work of Alex Schoenauer, by knocking him out in just 20 seconds. He then followed that up with a 22 second knockout of Gideon Ray, earning him his nickname, “Quick”, by UFC broadcasters Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan.
Mike then defeated his next 2 opponents, Steve Vigneault and Joe Riggs, in the first round as well and set a new UFC record. Mike won his first 4 UFC fights in a combined time of just 5 minutes and 10 seconds. This had never been done before and quickly made Mike a fan favorite and highly touted contender for the UFC’s middleweight crown. First he would have to defeat current #1 contender David Loiseau, which he did in hard fought battle at UFC 63. Becoming the number #1 contender and being on a blazing 5 fight win streak in the UFC put Mike in a position that he only dreamed of before.
Unfortunately for Mike, his health took a big hit the exact same time his career propelled. Following the Loiseau fight, Mike started dealing with esophageal issues which effected his diet and weight. While dealing with these issues, he agreed to fight a title contending fight in his hometown of Houston, Texas against highly touted Japanese grappler Yushin “Thunder” Okami. Mike found himself in the battle of his life and lost a close decision to Okami at UFC 69. Immediately following the fight, Mike’s health got even worse and he was forced to drop to 170lbs due to the fact he could not keep the weight on.
Mike was given a Main Event fight for his debut at welterweight against Josh Burkman on the UFC Fight Night 12 card. Mike defeated Burkman and then continued on the winning track by defeating Marcus Davis, who was on a 11 fight winning streak at the time. With Mike’s health still in question he started going through experimental treatments to enable himself the ability to continue fighting. Mike continued on by knocking out both Jonathan Goulet and Ben Saunders on his way to yet another #1 contender position. This time in the UFC’s 170lb division.
On November 14th, 2009 Mike fought in a second title shot contender fight, this time against British standout Dan Hardy. Mike lost via decision and missed getting his UFC title shot for the second time. Following this loss, Mike’s teammate Josh Koscheck got injured while preparing for a rematch against Paulo Thiago. Mike stepped in on short notice, hoping a win could put him back in title contention, but suffered a loss to the Brazilian prodigy.
Mike’s health issues had progressed to a serious point by now and Mike had to step away from competition to try and seek better help. For almost 3 years, Mike battled his condition as well as suffering a knee injury that tore his ACL, MCL and Meniscus. It was a long hard road but Mike would get his chance once again, at UFC victory.
Ignoring the doctors and critics who said he should retire, Mike came back and signed for another fight. The UFC, anxious for a healthier and improved Quick Swick, granted him a slot on one of the UFC’s biggest shows, UFC on FOX. On August 4th, 2012, Mike entered the octagon in front of a sold out crowd at The Staples Center to face DaMarques Johnson. This was his first fight in 910 days, which was the longest any fighter has been absent from competition while having an active contract in the UFC.
After both fighters engaged in an explosive first round, Mike went on to land a devastating knockout blow in round two that left Johnson unconscious. The explosive finish gave Mike his second “knockout of the night” accolade, as well as his 5th KO victory in the UFC. Mike’s comeback story stole the headlines and earned him a winning fight purse as well as a fight bonus. Not only was this Mike’s most important win, it was the fight of his life. A fight that he had to win, in order to start building his epic dream. That dream is AKA Thailand.