SEATTLE — Fighter, entrepreneur. Mike (Quick) Swick can wear his own signature shirt into the cage or design yours.
The UFC welterweight can also help you out with stickers, decals, banners and signs courtesy of his company Spartan Screen Printing in San Jose.
His day job came in handy when he was sidelined for 910 days due to a digestive disorder and knee reconstruction. After losing to Paulo Thiago at UFC 109 in February 2010, Swick did not fight until this past August.
Following that win over DaMarques Johnson, he returns to action Saturday against Matt (The Immortal) Brown on a televised card at the KeyArena.
Swick, 33, said while he had been smart with his fight winnings, "I never counted on a two-and-a-half-year rainy day.
"I invested all the money that I made, pretty much," said Swick. "I don’t blow a lot. I invested in business. I have a business in San Jose and I did do that smartly so that it took care of me.
"But yeah, it’s definitely not the same when you’re not making fight purses. That’s for sure."
Swick (15-4) made up for lost time in his comeback fight, when he collected a US$50,000 bonus for knockout of the night.
Swick’s business also does custom-made fight shorts and he will be modelling his company’s work on Saturday. Spartan Screen Printing does all the custom work for Swick’s fellow fighters at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose.
The orders from the public can be challenging, Swick acknowledged.
"Pretty crazy stuff," he said, citing bachelor and bachelorette parties as examples.
His printing business came out of his Combat Live clothing line, which he started up so he could give gear to the U.S. military. He has done 15 military support tours, which have taken him to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Djibouti.
Those tours helped him fill his time away from the sport.
"It started with Combat Life and I wanted to print my own shirts — obviously it would be better to print your own stuff than have I done," Swick said. "So I started small and it just grew. Now I have a big print shop."
His resume also includes owning a pressure washing company, selling cars, waiting tables, and time as a bouncer/bartender.
"I feel like next to fighting, I guess I’m an entrepreneur," he added. "I love business, I love trying to make business work and making the right decisions and building stuff."
Swick, along with former UFC fighter Roger Huerta, is also working on building a gym in Phuket, Thailand.
"That’s my biggest dream," said Swick. "I’ve been working hard on that for the last couple of years and hopefully we’ll get that going there pretty soon."
Swick, who has trained extensively in Thailand, says visits to the country "partially saved my life" during his layoff.
"To get away from everything and relax, it’s a very peaceful place," he said. "It definitely helped me mentally."
It’s not always been peaceful on his travels. Swick has drunk cobra blood, eaten insects, drained both his cauliflower ear and elbow, fired a machine gun in Cambodia, and been buried up to his neck on a Thailand beach — all captured on video.