Josh Koscheck was supposed to get his chance to avenge a loss to Paulo Thiago this Saturday at UFC 109 in Las Vegas, but an injury forced the American Kickboxing Academy welterweight out of the bout. Luckily, Koscheck’s teammate, Mike Swick, was primed to step in.
“I think I was set to fight around the April time frame,” said Swick on the Sherdog Radio Network's “Beatdown” show on Monday. “Then I'd heard that Koscheck hurt his knee rolling with Cain (Velasquez). So I kind of figured if he pulls out that I'll be stepping in and Bob (Cook) called and said that he might not be able to fight. So for about a week, I just trained alongside Kos just to make sure if he was going to fight or not. He ended up not being able to fight, so I just stepped in and started my fight camp.”
Despite a shorter than normal camp to prepare for Thiago, the 30-year-old Houston native believes he'll be entering this bout under near perfect circumstances.
“It was a shorter fight camp, but I got in shape really fast and I feel great,” said Swick, who will look to rebound to a sobering unanimous decision loss to Brit Dan Hardy last November. “It might actually end up being better because sometimes the longer fight camp for me I overdo it and then break my body down and I over-train. Then I end up not doing as good as I want. So I think it might've been a perfect timed fight camp.”
In Thiago, Swick is facing a fighter who’s already gone 1-1 against his fellow AKA brethren. Thiago stunned Koscheck at UFC 95 a year ago, but was handled by Jon Fitch at UFC 100 last July in Thiago’s only career loss to date. While Swick said he doesn't have a slew of fights to go off of, he does know he'll be in for a tough bout against the Brazilian.
“I'd love to finish Paulo Thiago and be the first guy to do so, but I'm just going to take the fight step by step to try and beat him at everything,” said Swick. “I'm just going to try and beat him the entire time and land the combinations. Obviously, the game plan is more so to keep it on the feet and go where I'm strong and if the knockout comes I'll finish it and take it, but I'm not just going to go headhunt to where I leave myself open.”
It's no different than any of Swick’s other 17 bouts.
“It's kind of along the same line as my other fights,” Swick said, “I know he's a tough guy and if you go in there sometimes just looking for the finish, you'll overextend yourself and make a mistake. I definitely don't want to make a mistake. I feel like I've made plenty in my last couple of fights. I want to go out there and have a good performance and have a good clean fight.”