The Crow returns to MMA ring after lopsided loss in UFC title fight
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
(CP) - The last time David (The Crow) Loiseau stepped into the Octagon, the mixed martial arts fighter from Montreal absorbed a 25-minute beating at the hands of UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin.
It was not a pretty sight. By the end of the March 4 bout, Loiseau's face was so swollen it looked like Franklin had used a baseball bat.
Loiseau, 26, can take some small solace from the fact that he is about to beat Franklin back to the ring because of the damage the champion sustained in kicking, punching and tossing him around the Las Vegas ring at UFC 58: USA vs. Canada.
The Crow is set to make his comeback Saturday against highly touted American Mike (Quick) Swick on the undercard of UFC 63: Hughes vs. Penn in Anaheim, Calif. Franklin isn't fighting again until UFC 64: Unstoppable on Nov. 16 in Las Vegas when the former teacher defends his 185-pound title against Brazilian hard man Anderson Silva.
Saturday's fight is big for both Loiseau (15-5-0) and Swick (11-1-0).
"It's a tough fight (to call)," said UFC president Dana White. "Loiseau obviously didn't look great in his fight against Rich Franklin but Rich Franklin's the best middleweight in the world. And it's a huge step up for Mike Swick.
"It's definitely a chance for Loiseau to shine again and get people to stop thinking about how bad he looked against Rich Franklin."
White sees it as a well-matched fight. But he also sees it as a must-win for Loiseau.
"No doubt about it," he said.
Swick, 27, also has a powerful motivation. He knows a victory will move him closer to the front of a line for a title shot.
"I'm not looking past the fight but I definitely think a win over Loiseau would do good things for me and my career," Swick said.
A charismatic fighter with looks and the gift of the gab, Swick could go far.
For his part, Loiseau acknowledges the Swick fight is big - but not because it follows the Franklin loss.
"Every fight is important, especially in the UFC. . . . It is an important fight but it isn't any different than the other ones. All of them have their storylines."
Swick, an alumnus of the Ultimate Fighter TV series now based out of San Jose, probably has more leeway Saturday. He is on his way up after needing just two minutes 19 seconds to submit Joe (Diesel) Riggs at UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie and 2:09 to choke out Quebec's Steve Vigneault at UFC 58.
Other Swick quickies include a 20-second KO of Alex Schoenauer and 22-second knockout of Gideon Ray.
He is known for his "Swickatine" choke - a variation of a guillotine choke.
"I put it on really quick," Swick said in explaining its effectiveness. "There's a whole setup I do for it where you don't feel like I'm going for the guillotine, then all of a sudden it's locked it. I don't set it up the traditional slow way."
A submission would be nice against Loiseau, who has shown he can absorb an amazing amount of punishment.
"He can take a beating for sure," Swick said with grudging admiration. "That was the only time Franklin's ever went to a decision and he was game the whole time. He never quit and showed true heart."
"It's a tough test," he said of Loiseau. "And I'm very excited to take it."
Loiseau has watched the Franklin tape, wondering what was going through his head at the time.
"I wasn't there mentally, obviously. If you watched previous fights of mine, it showed that I wasn't myself. I was going backwards the whole fight. The only time I kind of went forward, I knocked him down in the third round. When I stood my ground, I actually did pretty good.
"It's all a learning process. No matter what happens in a fight, fights make you better, better fighters. That's what real warriors are about. They learn from every fight, win or lose."
At his best, Loiseau is a high-kicking aggressor who can carve open opponents with a pair of wicked elbows. At UFC 51: Super Saturday, he left Ray looking like someone had taken a can opener to his head. And at UFC 53: Heavy Hitters, he punished Charles McCarthy with a spinning backheel to the body, then took him down with a knee and hammered the fallen fighter until the referee stepped in.
Loiseau is also durable.
After Loiseau, Franklin needed surgery to insert seven screws and a plate in his hand. He also had a hairline fracture in his left foot and ligament damage to his left ankle and right knuckles. Plus he needed five stitches over his left eye.
Loiseau needed just seven stitches - and to wait for his noggin to return to its normal size.
Franklin may have required more medical work, but had the last laugh, Loiseau acknowledged.
"He won the fight. It's all about winning," he said.
Loiseau said he was offered a comeback fight in June, but decided it was too early. He then had to wait his turn.
© The Canadian Press 2006