The UFC on FOX 4 main card kicks off with a welterweight affair, as Mike Swick (14-4 MMA, 9-3 UFC) returns to action after 28 months out of the Octagon to face DaMarques Johnson (16-10 MMA, 4-4 UFC). This fight was originally scheduled for the preliminary card, but when Travis Browne vs. Ben Rothwell was pulled, these two were the beneficiaries and will get a substantially larger TV audience. UFC on FOX 4 begins with prelims on FUEL TV at 5:00 PM ET/2:00 PM PT and the main card airs on FOX live at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT.
Both fighters have shown great finishing abilities whether on the feet or on the ground and are known for their entertaining fights. This should be a fun scrap to please the bosses at FOX, even though it is completely irrelevant to the title picture at 170 lbs. Neither man is ranked in the SB Nation MMA Consensus Rankings, Swick for his inactivity and losses, and Johnson for his average record.
How do these two stack up?
Swick: 33 years old | 6'1" | 77" reach
Johnson: 30 years old | 6'1" | 75" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
The above section describing what Swick has done recently is in the loosest sense of "recently" as possible. His fight with Thiago took place on February 2010. Countless injuries and setbacks during recovery have left him unable to compete or train, and he's twice had fights canceled during this 28 month layoff. But before Swick became hampered with injuries, he was a big contender in the WW division. He dropped to 170 lbs following a loss to Yushin Okami, and rattled off four straight wins, including a vintage Quick Swick KO of Jonathan Goulet. His chance at a title shot was dashed when he lost to Dan Hardy in a #1 contender fight at UFC 105 in England. Swick took a short-notice fight with Paulo Thiago thereafter and was knocked down and submitted in the 2nd round. Finally healthy and given a last-minute spot on the main card, Swick looks to shake off the ring rust and get back in the win column.
DaMarques Johnson was a finalist on The Ultimate Fighter: US vs. UK but lost to James Wilks and settled for runner-up status. He's essentially alternated wins and losses for the past two years, with his only streak of any sort coming in 2009-2010 when he beat Edgar Garcia and Brad Blackburn. Johnson holds one of the unique honors of winning via body triangle, when he forced Mike Guymon to tap out at UFC Fight Night 23. Mike Swick is easily the biggest and most famous opponent he's faced to date, and while he has not shown the consistency needed to be a title contender, a win against Swick would be a signature win on his resume.
Why should you care?
If Swick is healthy, this should be a fun fight and there's almost no way it goes the distance. Swick has finished 10 of 14 fights and DaMarques has never gone the distance in his UFC career.
More UFC on Fox 4 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.