Can somebody please explain to me why Mike Swick is fighting Yushin Okami at UFC 69 in Houston Texas? Is it because Mike Swick is a home town fighter and the UFC wants to make sure that he wins? Is it because he’s the only 185 pound fighter left with a shot at defeating Anderson Silva and they don’t want him to lose a warm up bout? Or is it because Mike Swick isn’t ready for a title shot yet?
Let’s look at Yushin Okami’s credentials coming into this fight. Okami’s record looks impressive enough, 19-3-0 with a win over current 185 pound champion Anderson Silva. Looking a little closer however, reveals that his win over Silva was a DQ due to an illegal kick. His most notable win comes over Rory Singer by submission due to punches. However, Rory Singer is not Mike Swick.
Now, let’s look at Mike Swick’s fight history. I’m only going to deal with well known fighters. Mike Swick’s big fights have been against Chris Legen, Joe Riggs and David Loiseau. First of all, let’s deal with the one loss out of those three fights, a knockout loss to Chris Leben. This was scored in early 2004, which puts it at 3 years ago and I don’t believe it’s relevant given that Swick is still very young and still improving with each fight.
Mike pulled off a typical Mike “Quick” Swick guillotine, also known as “The Swickotine”, Choke against Joe “Diesel” Riggs at UFC 60. He locked in the Swickotine early in the first round and I believe this is the fight where people sat up and took notice of Swick as a real contender. At the time I thought “who is this guy?”, I read up on him and was impressed. However, it was hard to not notice that Matt Hughes had done something very similar in finishing off Joe Riggs quickly in a previous fight.
Swick kept up his winning ways by defeating a great striker in David “The Crow” Loiseau at UFC 63 in September 2006. It is this fight which makes me wonder if Swick is ready for a title shot against current 185 champ, Anderson Silva. If Anderson Silva has a clone, then it is the French Canadian Loiseau. Both men prefer to strike, but are competent on the ground (especially at defending submissions). Since Swick defeated Loiseau, perhaps he has a shot against Silva.
Other fighters worth noting in the 185 pound division are Rich Franklin, Jason MacDonald, Chris Leben and Ed Herman in that order. I guess the question at hand is whether Mike Swick deserves a title shot more than these other guys do. The answer is no. I believe Rich Franklin or Jason MacDonald (depending on who wins their fight at UFC 68) deserves a shot first. I also believe that the winner of Silva/Franklin or Silva/MacDonald should have to face Swick for the title. I am of course assuming that Mike Swick will make short work of Yushin Okami 69.
So, if my predictions are correct, we should be seeing Mike Swick facing one of Anderson Silva, Jason MacDonald or Rich Franklin for the UFC 185 pound belt sometime in mid to later 2007. Perhaps at UFC 71.
Take it easy and keep watching the fights!