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UFC 105:

Mike Swick better after concussion, looking forward to Dan Hardy

Swick gets second chance at title shot after missing UFC 103

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Courtesy of UFC

Mike Swick celebrates a second-round TKO win over Ben Saunders at UFC 99 in Lanxess Arena in Germany on June 13, 2009.

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With all the recent shuffling in the UFC’s schedule due to injuries, cases of mono and "A-Team" movies, it’s been easy to forget about an injury that occurred earlier this year.

One that really screwed up the title picture in its welterweight division.

Back at UFC 103 in September, a scheduled matchup between Martin Kampmann and Mike Swick was being promoted as the elimination bout that would determine the next challenge for Georges St. Pierre at 170 pounds.

Unfortunately, Swick had to pull out of the fight after suffering a concussion while sparring with teammate Josh Koscheck.

The injury cost him the opportunity to possibly become the No. 1 contender in his home state of Texas.

Potentially adding insult to injury was the fact that Kampmann went on to have a lackluster performance at 103, losing to Swick’s replacement Paul Daley by TKO in the first round.

Swick, however, says he wasn’t bothered by the result.

“I was surprised with the result but I definitely knew that Daley could do it if Kampmann stood with him,” Swick said. “Obviously, I had predicted Kampmann to win but I thought Daley fought a great fight and beat a tough opponent.

“The emotional distress I had was because I couldn’t fight — not because of the result of Kampmann’s fight.”

Although it won’t be in his home state, Swick will have the chance to erase that emotional distress when he takes on Dan Hardy at UFC 105 at MEN Arena in Manchester, England.

As was the case with the Kampmann fight, Swick says he has heard that Saturday’s winner will earn the next welterweight title shot.

“That’s what they’re saying,” Swick said. “I think the winner of this fight does fight GSP so obviously it’s very exciting. It’s something to look forward to, but without a dominating performance on Nov. 14, nothing’s going to happen.”

If Swick has learned anything from the Kampmann fight it should be not to look past the next guy.

Although Daley is widely considered to be a dangerous fighter, many were shocked when the Brit defeated Kampmann on just a few weeks of preparation.

Like Daley, Hardy is best on his feet and will likely try to turn the fight into a slugfest.

“My only concern is that I want it to be a 15-minute war,” Hardy said. “I don’t want to be stuck against the cage in the clinch or working to get off my back the entire time. I know that Mike is a good fighter and I hope he’s approaching it the same way that I am.”

One thing that shouldn’t be an issue Saturday is Swick’s conditioning.

Swick said he was already in "sick" shape for the Kampmann fight and took only one week away from the gym following the concussion.

“I think as far as not doing anything, I took about a week off,” Swick said. “I pretty much trained right through it. That week off was good for my body, it was actually the best thing I could have done. I was right back into camp again after.

“It didn’t affect me. When I got the concussion I didn’t even know I had one. I got slammed on my head but I got up and continued sparring two rounds right after.”

If Swick wins, he should move on to just the second championship fight in his professional career.

He came up short in his only chance at a belt, a second-round loss by knockout to Chris Leben for the WEC middleweight championship in 2004.

With another chance at a belt finally in sight, Swick says he’s looking to end Hardy’s night, convincingly.

“Different fighters pose different threats. You have got to know who your opponent is and how to open him up go get that finish,” Swick said. “I’m not just fighting to get a win. I’m going out to make a statement.”

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected].

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