Two days after undergoing an experimental treatment for his ongoing esophageal issues, UFC welterweight Mike Swick
told MMA Fighting on Thursday that he's "optimistic" about his fighting future for the first time in a long time.
"I can tell already from waking up this morning that it's already improving," Swick said. "Pretty much, the way it was before I woke up miserable every day."
Swick said it will still be a few more days before he knows for sure whether the botox injection in his esophagus had the desired effect of paralyzing his esophageal muscles in order to stop the spasms
. While the treatment, which involved probing into his throat while he was sedated but semi-conscious, was "not super-pleasant," he said, things are already looking up.
"It's hard to tell yet how effective it was. It's getting better, and I can already tell it's better than it was before, but I have to wait for the swelling to go down so I can see how much back to normal my throat really is."
The tricky part is, Swick has already agreed to face David Mitchell
at the UFC's 'Fight for the Troops 2' event, tentatively planned for Jan. 22, so it isn't as if he has a lot of time for failed treatments before he has to get back into training. When asked if he considered waiting until he knew the results of his treatment before signing on for his next bout, Swick laughed before saying, "Yeah, that was a thought."
"But no, I've fought like this for the last four years, so I know I'm able to," he continued. "It just comes down to, how healthy am I going to be able to get? Am I going to be 100%? Hopefully. But even if not, I can already tell I'm going to be better."
If the procedure proves completely ineffective, he said, and if he can't get any relief leading up to the bout, his ability to push through it anyway might help him decide on the future of his career in MMA.
"Worst case, if it doesn't get any better and the medicine isn't helping at all, that fight [against Mitchell] might be determining whether I can even fight anymore. But I don't see that being an issue. After my last fight, that's what I was scared of. I actually had the thought that I wouldn't fight again. Being able to get this chance again, it's kind of like a rebirth."
For now, Swick said, he's resting at home, playing online poker in between naps, and hoping for the best in the coming days.