If you’ve been following the jiu jitsu interwebs the past few days, you know that there was an absolute firestorm that erupted when a small town BJJ black belt and retired MMA fighter, Dan Swift, made some off the cuff and offensive remarks about the circumstances surrounding Luke Rockhold’s win over Chris Weidman. Swift’s comments have brought about a veritable circus on the various discussion boards and comment threads on the subject.
Dan reached out to me asking to be able to speak his mind on the outrage that has been directed his way, as well as to clarify his thoughts on the former middleweight champion, as well as to talk a bit about his own personal experiences.
“First let me start out by saying that I’m sorry for insulting Chris Weidman as a fighter. He is a phenomenal fighter first and foremost. I could have said what I said probably with some more grace. Unfortunately I speak before I think. I never thought that video would go crazy like this. I was just having fun. Yes I do think Chris needs to go back to the drawing board and work on his mount escapes. Luke Rockholds mount is definitely more difficult then average.”
Swift’s apology was for his tone and choice of words, but not for his opinion, which he still maintains is what he believes:
“Luke was doing basic stuff to maintain mount. Hooks, pressure with his hips and going to high mount. Those are basic hold downs that can be countered. When someone gets the hooks in, you have to clear at least one hook, that’s easy. Once you clear a hook get to your side and trap the ankle. Chris never even attempted to escape. He literally just laid there.”
I challenged Dan, asking him if he felt like he could have addressed Rockhold’s mount any better, his answer “I’ve never been in that situation in particular. I’ve been in situations where I knew what do to and when I did it they countered me and put me in a worse position or tapped me. Basic escapes are like riding a bike. You shouldn’t need to drill those daily to stay sharp”
Many people have commented in Dan’s dismal MMA record, a point Dan wanted to clarify:
“I was a 135 pound fighter. I fought mostly at 155 because there was no one for me to fight. So imagine how good these UFC guys’ records would be if they consistently fought 3 weight classes above their real weight class. Some fights I fought at 170 or even as heavy as 185! So my record being what it is I think is impressive! I’ve gone the distance with Miguel Torres who at the time was the p4p best fighter in the world! That’s impressive to me. I doubt most of these fighters records would be even close to as good as mine if they were fighting 2 and 3 weight classes up. How would McGregor do fighting at 170 or 185?”
Another point that many, myself included, have made is that Dan, being a martial artist, should be ashamed of the number of street fights he has been in. I asked him about that, and his response was interesting:
“When kids nowadays grow up the thing to do is smoke weed or drink alcohol. When I was younger the thing to do was fight. Every football game the opposite team had a group of people looking for a fight and we were those guys fighting with them. We would throw down every weekend! It was just what we did. Growing up I got picked on a lot and I stood up for myself and would fight. Someone gets mad at how I drive and follows me to where I’m going and they talk smack, I’ll fight them. I honestly do have a lot of just crazy stuff that happens to me. I’ve had people show up at my house with baseball bats. I’ve been jumped, stabbed, shot at, hit with crow bars, you name it. I ran the streets and we would get into it with people trying to rob us or whatever. Probably a lot of it I could have walked away from but I like to fight and if your gonna start stuff with me lets go outside and do it. I think I get in more fights than most cause I don’t walk away. I’ve been in probably 15 fights just in the past 3 years. I’ve lived in really bad neighborhoods and you’ve got to get your respect or you’ll be killed. I’ve gotten into fights about people stealing my lunch at school, stealing my bike, trying to rob me, insulting my girlfriend, picking on someone else and me sticking up for them. I don’t know man I just don’t back down and I do like to fight. I really don’t start them but I don’t ignore people if they talk smack to me. I’ve been in fights in the mall, parking lot of Ruby Tuesdays, home depot, giant eagle, parking garages, my front yard, on the highway, I live a crazy life! I’d also like to say that people can say what they want about me but I guarantee they’d hope I’m around if their wife, kid or friend were getting jumped, robbed or assaulted. They’d be happy someone like me was around then because I am not scared of anything!”
At the end of the day, Dan Swift may be a detestable character to some, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion, wrong or not. However, if you are a BJJ a black belt you may want to keep an eye on what you say on the internet and how you say it…