UFC veteran Mike Swick making the move back to middleweight

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Long time UFC vet and former welterweight top contender Mike Swick is returning to the middleweight division following his recovery from a long illness.

In 2008 Mike Swick dropped to welterweight, he was having trouble keeping his weight up, and despite a largely successful middleweight campaign (going 5-1) in the UFC he felt that his future was best served at a lighter weight class. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to him, he was struggling with a medical condition, an esophageal spasm, that was at the source of his weight problems.

A once promising career was trending toward diminishing returns with back to back losses to Dan Hardy and Paulo Thiago and the burden of being unable to maintain a proper diet was wearing on his body. Eventually this would culminate in a 1 1/2 year absence from the sport. That time off allowed him to deal with his medical issues thoroughly, and he returned to UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera an apparently rejuvenated fighter.

However, the renaissance was short lived, and following a disappointing knockout loss to Matt Brown in December Swick has decided to return to the division that gave him his initial fighting success. He made the official announcement via twitter last week.

It's hard to say what the end result of this will be, whether it's the right move or just a last attempt to recapture something totally lost. Swick's not especially old at 33, and while he's taken a few licks lately his career hasn't been marked by a wealth of punishment. However, much of his early success was built around his impressive hand-speed and fast twitch muscle ability. If age and illness have diminished those skills, no amount of changing weight will bring them back.

No opponent has been announced for his return to 185 and no debut date has been set, but we'll be sure to keep you posted as information becomes available.

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