Mike Swick suffered with a disease that baffled his doctors. In a sport well documented to be about training in teams, the UFC welterweight battled the illness the same way he fights opponents in the Octagon.
"To be honest, he never talked about it," Javier Mendez, one of Swick's coaches and founder of American Kickboxing Academy, told FOXSports.com. "He was upbeat and was convinced he was going to be back. He didn't really let us know about those demons he was battling. He hid it."
The diagnosis: esophageal spasms. The ailment, which was originally misdiagnosed, can cause intense chest pain and makes food intake difficult.
After a change in diet and medical treatment that finally allowed him to maintain his weight, Swick was back in the Octagon at UFC on FOX 4 in August. That was 910 days after his previous fight, a stretch also prolonged by a serious knee injury. A second-round knockout of DaMarques Johnson righted a career that could be set ...