It helps that he's one of the nicest fighters out there. Hours spent in front of the computer (or phone - whatever he's using) to answer fans' tweets and post pictures and videos of his wild escapades. And, well... if you're not on Twitter, you still can't not like him after seeing him destroy Gideon Ray.
That was one of the first fights I saw him in, and it was almost over before it started. The ref said go, and Swickie charged like a mad man. But not without a purpose, of course, and not without a plan. He socked Ray with some punches, and then - boom - the fight was done.
With a 14-4 record, Mike's in the mix for the welterweight title. It's hard to say exactly where he is in the mix, but he's somewhere in it. While some people got off the Swick bandwagon after his UFC 109 loss, it was a bad move. Sure, he fell asleep after a quick d'arce choke from Thiago, but I can't think of many people who wouldn't have done the same thing. I can think of different approaches that might not have landed him in that situation... but hey - props to Thiago.
So Swick's in the title mix, but the UFC keeps running into one ubiquitous welterweight problem: AKA. Oh, those boys. Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch are also both in contention territory. But since the three of ‘em aren't gonna fight each other, Dana and Joe Silva keep pairing them off against big threats - like Paul Daley or Paulo Thiago.
The Mike Swick vs. Martin Kampmann fight was something that I really wanted to see. Well, it should have happened when it was supposed to happen - originally. It won't mean anything now for the division, so it's not worth visiting at this point. But if Swick had fought Kampmann and won, he would have had the title shot. And Georges St. Pierre against Mike Swick would have definitely been something worth watching.
It's okay to wonder about the juggling in the welterweight division. All the top guys, including Swickie, still need at least one more fight against their truest threat in order to see where they stand. In fact, I'd really appreciate a Mike Swick vs. Dan Hardy II. The first one went to a decision, so why not? It would really challenge both of them. Would the winner get GSP? Maybe, maybe not - everyone could always use some more practice before they take on GSP!
Since Mike started fighting, he's gone on streaks. Case in point: Five wins, one loss, five wins, one loss. Then he won four and bottomed out with two straight losses. Granted, his losses were to Hardy and Thiago, so it's not like he wasn't facing tough opponents. With wins over Ben Saunders and Marcus Davis, Swick should be ready to take on whatever welterweight the UFC throws him.
However, out of the three AKA boys, who should be the next to get a title shot? I'd be up for the winner of Fitch vs....