UFC veteran Mike “Quick” Swick arrives in Alaska to celebrate the Alaska Fighting Championship’s 75th show next Wednesday night, September 15, brought to you by the Air Force Reserves. He will be on hand starting at 6:00 pm to meet and greet with fans.
The event will showcase two rising stars in the heavyweight division with heavy-handed Mike “The Cannon” Fannon, represented by Frontier Vale Tudo of Anchorage, against well-rounded Pat Lumba of Frostbite Vale-Tudo in Fairbanks.
The main event will feature a vacant title match in the lightweight division with Lumba’s teammate Scott “Tickle Fight” Thometz, an Army Ranger, facing one of the nastiest representatives of Alaskan MMA, “Nasty” Nate Hannah of Anchorage Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Mike Swick was just at the UFC 118 fan expo where he met with fans from around the world. “It was great!” he said of the event. “I love meeting all the UFC fans!” Mike says he has never been to Alaska before but was looking forward to it. When asked about the growing popularity of the sport through the AFC, he responded, “I think it’s great that the sport has blossomed so well. They just have to keep having shows. The fights speak for themselves.”
I asked him about his travels across the world on his Support The Troops 2010 tour. “Going to Iraq was great,” he said. “I love supporting the troops and I have always wanted to go there. Iraq was the 9th country I visited while supporting the Military and the most unique. Being in a war zone was unlike anything I have done before. I really enjoyed talking with the troops and training with them in between missions.”
What about spending the night at one of Saddam’s Palaces? “Yes, we actually stayed in one of Saddam's Palaces. It was very historical. One of my best memories there was fishing at night in Saddam’s pond with some friends from a wounded warrior mission. They lost limbs during the war and returned to visit. Their stories were amazing.”
Mike also addressed the recent tragic accident involving his friend Robert Whitsitt. “I lost a jump buddy while skydiving a couple weeks ago. We all left the plane together on a routine 13k jump and he never pulled. We still don’t know what happened. It was very sad. I was told when I got into skydiving that if I jumped long enough, I would know someone who would die. I just didn't expect it to happen so soon. It puts things into perspective and makes you realize it can all end at any moment and to not take anything for granted.”
I asked him if the loss would keep him from the sport? “Skydiving is one of my favorite hobbies and I will not quit jumping. It’s always up to the jumper to save his own life, so every jumper and every jump is different. If you do what your supposed to do, it’s a relatively safe sport."