November 10, 2009
UFC welterweight Mike Swick isn't known for talking trash, but if you rile him up, look out. That's exactly what Dan Hardy, his opponent for UFC 105, did.
"He's not trash-talking, but he's completely delusional and disrespectful, and he's not giving me any credit for my career," Swick told Cagewriter. "For him to come on board with three fights in the UFC, two of which the judges said he lost, and act like he deserves a title shot, and act like he's going to smash me, and act like he's got a better arsenal than I do, and act like he's better than me everywhere, is ridiculously delusional and I can't wait to prove him wrong."
Before Hardy's win over Marcus Davis, Hardy incessantly battered Davis with little barbs meant to mess with Davis as he was training. Swick views these mind games as a weakness in Hardy.
"He admitted to breaking Marcus Davis down, and getting in his head, and interfering with his training. Does he really feel good about that? I want to fight him at his best. Not injured, not distraught. He's not talking the same way as he was talking to Davis, but he's not giving any credit where it's due. He's coming in like he has all these credentials, and he's climbing up the ranks, and it's absolutely delusional and ridiculous. You're going to see on November 14 that I'm going to put an end to that."
Swick believes that Hardy's confidence will come back to bite him in their fight.
"He needs to realize that all this confidence is going to hurt him in the fight. When he realizes this is inaccurate, he's going to panic. I've seen it happen time and time again. Time and time again, my opponents come in and fight me, and they never give me respect, they always say that my speed is not an issue, they always say that they're stronger than me, they always say that they're going to hit harder than me, and they always say they're going to knock me out. And time and time again, I'm the one sitting in the postfight press conference after a victory."
"You would think by now I'd get some level of respect, especially from a guy with the credentials he has. He's not stellar, by any means in the UFC. Three wins is great, but two split decisions is horrible. I've never even had a split decision. For him to be boasting about it like he's the next big thing is horrible. All that's going to come crashing down. After this fight is over with, he's going to have a whole new perspective. He's probably going to be upset at his friends and family and his team who are filling his head with all these ridiculous lies that he's so much better than me in all these areas."
Focused on the chance at a title shot
Swick is willing to put up with all the trash talk silliness because he knows that with a win, he will be given a shot to take Georges St. Pierre's title.
"At the end of the day, it's going to be an exciting fight, it's going to be another fight under my belt, and obviously money. It's my career. It's what I do. I just want to get this fight out, have a dominant performance and keep pursuing that title shot, and my dream of being a champion."
"Obviously, it stays in the back of your mind that a title shot is next. It excites me, but you can't lose focus on the fight itself. Without a win over Dan Hardy, there's no title shot. Who knows what's next? I don't want to be in that who knows what's next position. I want to be in the, 'I know what's next position,' and that's GSP. So, I'm not just going out there to get a win. I'm going out there to make a statement. I'm going out there to prove a point, to prove I'm the number one contender. I can be the guy to dethrone Georges St. Pierre, and that's exactly what the world is going to see on Nov. 14."
He sees training at American Kickboxing Academy as a major advantage in preparing for this fight.
"We have the best fight team in the world, especially welterweight fight team. I mean, with Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch and Jake Shields, you cannot have a better welterweight fight team than that. Daniel Cormier, with his Olympic wrestling, he's been teaching me a lot. I've been wrestling with these guys for years. I just don't show it in my fights because I stand. My ground game has never really been shown in the UFC. I'm super excited to get out there and showcase all areas of my game. My training camp is spectacular. We have some of the top-level fighters in the world, and we're getting new ones every day."
With that preparation, Swick is ready to fight Hardy anywhere.
"Apparently, he's better everywhere in his mind, but he's going to come to a very different conclusion when that bell rings. For him to say speed's not an issue is about the dumbest thing I've ever heard any fighter say. We'll see how speed is a factor on Nov. 14. I'll fight him anywhere. I'll go outside the Octagon. I'll go over the top. I'll fight him in any area, and then I'll beat him in snooker, too, when we're done."
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