Mike Swick finally stepped back into the Octagon after two-plus years of being on the shelf. Injuries and medical conditions prevented the AKA product from making a return to the UFC, but Swick was finally able to fight once more.
Swick stepped into the cage to face off against DaMarques Johnson, who himself is a tough opponent. Johnson had a few moments of success and looked to be close to obtaining a victory but Swick persevered through the rough times.
In the end Swick would end the fight with a huge right hand on the ground and turn the lights out for Johnson.
The performance was a sort of mixed bag for Swick, as he did achieve victory but was clearly rocked on a few occasions. The victory for Swick marked the culmination of nearly two years of hard work, but the question now is, where does Swick go from here?
Mike Pyle is coming off perhaps his best performance at the UFC on FX event in June. Pyle ended the night for Josh Neer with a single punch to put together back-to-back wins after dropping a fight to Rory MacDonald at UFC 133.
Pyle doesn't have a recognizable name for most MMA fans, but he's defeated a number of talented guys. He's a tough fighter that would be a good match up for Mike Swick.
Swick looked a little shaky in his return bout and that likely was the result of some cage rust. He still displayed his trademark hand speed and showed some toughness by fighting through the rough points in the fight. Persevering through the tough points in a fight is something Swick would need to do against a guy like Pyle, who's known for not being intimidated by anyone, no matter the hype.
Besides being an interesting fight, it'd also be an interesting battle between two gyms who've hit a rough patch in the media recently.
Thiago Alves is likely looking to return later this year to the Octagon, and Mike Swick could be the guy to welcome him back. The fight would give Swick some time off to recover from his bout at the UFC on Fox 4 event, and the opportunity to face another welterweight with a big name.
Alves would be coming off a loss against Martin Kampmann, but outside of the last few minutes of that bout, Alves was actually on his way to a decision victory.
A bout between Alves and Swick would be an entertaining striking affair as both men possess some of the most exciting kickboxing techniques in the division. Alves also has a grappling game that we don't often get to see, but may test the submission defense of Swick.
The potential fight with Alves would likely be a little too far off than Swick would like, but it's a high profile bout that's winnable for him.
With Rory MacDonald being forced out of his contest with BJ Penn at UFC 152, the returning "Prodigy" needs a new opponent to welcome him back to the Octagon. Mike Swick could be that guy.
Swick has the name power to warrant a match with Penn and has the hand speed to potentially give some problems to Penn on the feet. It'd also likely be a better match for Penn as Swick has shown some striking defense issues and was put to sleep by Paulo Thiago and a d'Arce choke at UFC 109.
Penn likely wouldn't mind fighting Swick, as he's a guy who always comes to fight and won't look to grind out a decision against the Hawaiian.