Mike Swick is a man who has seen some very high highs and some very low lows. Swick appeared to have almost limitless potential and was once one of the most promising prospects in the UFC's middleweight division
A series of first-round knockouts earned him the nickname "Quick" and a future title shot seemed all but certain.
But then the injuries started to pile up.
Swick got injured so much that UFC President Dana White gave him another nickname: Mr. Glass. For a while it seemed like he would be just another fighter whose career was cut short due to injuries.
He finally made his Octagon return at UFC on Fox 4 in Los Angeles this past summer after a two-and-a-half-year layoff. The reception he received from the crowd made it quite clear that fans had never turned their backs on him:
"It was overwhelming. It was kind of an outer body experience. You think about something for 910 days and you hope that you see the crowd from the top of the cage in victory and you want to win by knockout on a level like this with Fox and the viewership," Swick told Bleacher Report. "So for it to all pan out exactly like you dreamed, it's surreal. It was definitely a great feeling."
The two-and-a-half years leading up to the fight against DaMarques Johnson saw Swick face some of the darkest times of his life. It was the longest lay off of his career, and there were days when he believed that his MMA career could be over:
"I had the dark days. You don't want to lose your career. You don't want to give away your career and walk away from the sport that you love and have been a part of for so long. So the thought of that crushed that, absolutely. Thailand partially saved my life."
So, the big question then is if he believes that he's writing a new story or merely a new chapter in his existing story. It's easy to focus on his time away from the fight game, but it allowed him to heal up. That may have extended his shelf life.
And in speaking with him, it's pretty clear that he believes that he's Mike Swick 2.0.
"I think I'm restarting my career. I feel healthier than ever. I think that this is going to be the fight that showcases the new me."
*All quotes attained firsthand by Bleacher Report