Tony Reid – If you could choose one fight from your career that every MMA fan should see, which fight would you choose and why (Riggs, Burkman, Davis, Johnson, etc.)?
Mike Swick – “I would probably choose the Johnson fight. It shows a man that should not be able to win, pull it off out of sheer willpower. It’s a testament to never giving up no matter the circumstances. There were so many things telling me I can’t win that fight and I ignored them all and always believed in my mind that I can do it.”
Tony Reid – Hypothetically speaking, if you could fight anyone in any weight class who would you choose to fight and why?
Mike Swick – “If I could get my health taken care of and have a good camp, I would love to have fought GSP. I see him as one of the greatest and would be honored to of tested myself at that level.”
Tony Reid – With your time spent with some of the greats in the game at AKA (and elsewhere) what was the most memorable moment from any training session you have been involved in?
Mike Swick – “That’s really hard to say. There are so many memorable sessions. It’s always great to look back and remember when guys like Cain and DC and Rockhold all came in and had no MMA fights, then see them as they improve, gain experience, then become some of the best in the world. It’s amazing. We have built so many careers at AKA. I am honored to be a part of such an awesome pioneer gym. My most recent incredible memory was training at my own AKA gym here in Thailand. Having Javier in country and holding mitts for me was great. I am hoping to create a lot more memories with fighters training at my place here in Phuket.”
Tony Reid – They call you “Quick” Swick for a reason so I have to ask…Who has the heaviest hands of anybody you have fought?
Mike Swick – “I think the hardest I have ever been hit was Paulo Thiago. He has a whipping hook that took my equilibrium away long enough to secure a choke. Training wise, I think Dan Henderson cracked me the hardest. An overhand right to my forehead and it still buzzed me. It was the first thing he threw in what became one of the longest and most exhausting rounds I have had in sparring.”
Tony Reid – If you could fight anyone outside the world of MMA, who would you choose to pick a fight with and why?
Mike Swick – “I really don’t know. Hard to think about who I would like to beat up. (laughs) There are many people out there doing horrible things to people, too many to name.”
Tony Reid – You have said you can find inspiration in almost anything, so what are you finding inspiration in right now?
Mike Swick – “My daughter. I love her so much and she is here by my side in Thailand as I am building my dream gym. I want to make her proud and work hard enough to give her a good life.”
Tony Reid – If you weren’t a professional mixed martial artist do you ever wonder what you would be doing for a living?
Mike Swick – “That’s a hard one. I would have enlisted in the Military for sure though. Not sure if I would still be in or out at this point. I am a big supporter of our troops and have done numerous Military tours. It’s not the same as serving but I want to at least do what I can.”
Tony Reid – As a fan of the sport who are your favorite fighters to watch and why?
Mike Swick – “First and foremost, my teammates. AKA has some of the best and most exciting fighters in the sport and being their teammate, makes it even better! I also enjoy Anderson Silva’s fights. He is the greatest that ever lived in my opinion.”
Tony Reid – Many professional athletes have strange superstitious habits. Do you have any we should know about?
Mike Swick – “I always go into the restroom stall of the locker room before I walk out and gather my thoughts. I think about the journey to where I am and what this fight means to me. I envision myself winning the fight and lock in that feeling. Then I go out and do whatever it takes to make that feeling come alive.”
Tony Reid – You have been in the sport for a long time now, so what is the most amazing thing you have seen in regards to the growth of MMA since the beginning of your career?
Mike Swick – “The explosion of the UFC after TUF Season 1. I’m just so thankful to have been a part of it. When I left to film TUF, fighting wasn’t that cool. It wasn’t the first thing you would tell a girl you meet at a bar. Now it’s the coolest job in the world and everyone in the bars are ‘training for the UFC’. Fighting on FOX was another huge, amazing feat that I never thought could happen. I hoped, but would of never believed, the sport would have gotten to this level.”
Tony Reid – You were a key member on the groundbreaking first season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show. What is your fondest memory from your time in the house and on the show?
Mike Swick – “So many good memories from that show. Since the show hadn’t aired yet, it wasn’t much different than our normal lives of training all the time. It was awesome training with Randy Couture though. I think the wow factor came after the show aired and we were doing media tours. I remember doing a tour with Dana on the east coast that was hard to believe. Flying in the private jet, limos, doing interviews on popular TV and Radio shows. That was a long way from training in a horse barn in small town Texas, as a kid.”
Tony Reid – Have you spilled more blood inside the cage or on the sand after your motorcycle accidents in Thailand?
Mike Swick – “I have had my fair share of motorcycle wrecks in Thailand but the one a few years ago was the most bloody. Blood was pretty much pouring out of my foot and all over the road. It was pretty gnarly. Considering I wasn’t wearing anything but shorts and flip flops, I made it out quite well. It was a lesson learned though and I am being safer now as well as wearing better gear.”
Tony Reid – Is there anything we didn’t cover that you want to discuss before I let you go?
Mike Swick – “Is this my cue to shamelessly plug away? Well, in case anyone is wondering how they can find out more about this amazing gym in paradise, they can check out AKAThailand.com for all the news, updates and info. Thanks for the interview and I want to thank everyone that has supported myself and AKA!”