This is one fight I never thought about, which is odd for me considering how much I like both of these fighters.
On one hand you have Matt Brown, a guy who has never been KO’d in professional competition. He’s tough as a coffin nail, has incredible power in his fists, loves to fight and is a serious threat to anyone standing across from him.
Then you have Mike Swick, a fighter with incredibly fast hands who will let his hands go often, has unappreciated submission skills and knows how to finish a fight.
At first glance, this looks like a “Fight of the Night” candidate hands down, no questions asked. We know most of this bout will be contested with both men standing, throwing bombs.
But at a second look, one thing becomes clear: Matt Brown is much too slow for Mike Swick.
As good as Brown is, there are still some basic deficiencies in his overall game: subpar submission skills, leaves his chin out way too much, average hand speed and perhaps worst of all, he seems to act as if improving upon these areas will diminish his stature as a crowd pleasing action fighter.
And Brown would rather die than labor under that yoke.
Men like Brown are easy to watch and appreciate; they nearly always march forward, wearing their faults on their sleeves, daring the other guy to step into the pocket and do something about it.
Against Swick, he’ll find someone willing to painfully point out those errors, and by the time he realizes that he’s just been tagged four times Swick will be out of range, ready to counter with even heavier shots as Brown swarms in to get some payback.
This is a matador against a bull in every sense, and Swick isn’t going to let himself linger in too many bad situations for too long unlike Brown, who would pull out his own heart and eat it if it would keep the crowd on their feet.
Of course, Swick has probably never had to scrap against anyone as resilient as Brown, save for his losing effort against Chris Leben way back when. Brown is a more polished version of Leben, who moves so slow it’s almost painful to watch.
Swick has grown a great deal as a fighter since he lost to Leben, training hard and smart to evolve into a very slick craftsman. It’s doubtful he possesses the same kind of granite in his chin that Brown does, but as he is better defensively when punches are flying, that probably won’t matter.
If Swick has his cardio up to snuff and isn’t injured, his fists will be finding Brown’s jaw and chin frequently. If a man like Swick can stagger Brown just once, he can step through the doorway and deliver a barrage of punches that will eventually see Brown fall, and from there will come the finish in short order.
It’s hard to root for either man in such as fight as they both are a pleasure to watch. But speed kills in the fight game, and Mike “Quick” Swick has more than enough of that to earn the victory and mount a serious comeback in his career.
As for Brown, should this come to pass, he will no doubt simply dust himself off, go right back into training, ready to swing heavy leather all over again, secure in the fact that he will always have a home in the UFC as long as he’s willing to go to war every time he steps into the spotlight.
And I would rather see Brown fighting than many others out there.