Thirty months of frustration came out for Mike Swick on Saturday night.
Thirty months of inactivity, of illness and injury, all reduced to a few moments of violence that should help put the past behind him. After a wild first round, Swick ended things decisively in the second. He caught a leg kick, put DeMarques Johnson on his back, and hammered him with a diving overhand right that knocked Johnson cold. Swick got in two more shots before referee Herb Dean stepped in.
The official stop was at 1:20 of the second round.
"Hey guys, remember me?" he asked to a huge ovation in the seconds after the finish.
The two fought a spectacular first.
Swick opened with a blasting right hand that buckled Johnson, but Johnson weathered the storm and put Swick on his back to gain recovery time. Swick got back to his feet and scored with standing strikes, but Johnson again put the fight on the mat and performed well from the position, drilling Swick repeatedly with rights and lefts, and opening cuts under both of his eyes. It was a close round.
Swick came out looking tired in the second, but perhaps he was just biding his time for the right opportunity, and it came on Johnson's lazy leg kick, and it was over in a violent instant.
"I wanted to get a knockout tonight," he said.
The win was the first for Swick since June 2009, when he beat Ben Saunders at UFC 99. Swick is now 15-4.
Johnson, who lost his second in a row, fell to 16-11.