Swick rebounds from injuries, readies for Brown

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Swick rebounds from injuries, readies for Brown

Nitesh Dutt
CSNBayArea.com

The road to the top of the UFC’s Welterweight Division for AKA’s Mike “Quick”Swick (15-4-0) has been a tumultuous one paved by countless injuries and setbacks. But, where the most common of man would throw in the towel, Swick battled on.

This Saturday at UFC on FOX 5 Swick returns to the octagon for his second bout in four months, taking on Matt Brown (15-11-0).

Before a KO victory over DaMarques Johnson at UFC on FOX 4, Swick had not fought since February 2010. So, two fights in a span of four months can be seen as a mental victory for the San Jose fighter.

However, he is not satisfied with mental victories. Swick wants to stockpile the wins inside the cage and he’ll do it any way he wants.

“An ideal situation, for my fight, would be a knockout. Going in my favor,” Swick told Inside Fight Sports. “I want to have some scars when this fight’s over…and, get that knockout finish.”

Matt Brown is coming off of three-straight victories. Two of which came by TKO in the second round. Suffice to say that this will be a battle of two fighters who are more than willing to stand and exchange a fury of punches.

Combined these two have 30 wins, 16 of which came by way of KO/TKO (eight apiece).

Although he has been impressive in the UFC (10-3 record), Swick has not been able to get near a title shot due to major injuries that sidelined him for the better part of three years. Plus, dropping down to welterweight served as a rejuvenation in Swick’s early UFC career.

Even through the injuries and setbacks, the welterweight never came close to calling it quits. Others around him might have, but not “Quick”.

“It was definitely a thought of retirement, but from other people.” Swick knew it was too soon in his career to call it quits, regardless of all that he went through. “I’ve always pushed forward my whole life, so I’ve overcame so much and been through so much that unless I see a definite stoppage in my career, where there’s no going around it, I’m going to keep pushing forward.”

Swick made quick work of Johnson in his return to the octagon and he hopes to do the same on Saturday in Seattle. Despite his nickname, he is in no rush to demand a title shot. He’ll let his knockout finishes and victories do the work.

Nitesh Dutt is a production assistant at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter: @NiteshDutt

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.

“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.

“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).

“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”

This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.

As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.

“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”

Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.

A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.

The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.

All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.

Trio of A's rookies make history in win over White Sox

Trio of A's rookies make history in win over White Sox

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO -- The Oakland Athletics got a glimpse of their future on a day when the Chicago White Sox paid tribute to their past.

Matt Olson hit his first two major league home runs, Jaycob Brugman and Franklin Barreto also launched their first career shots and the A's routed the White Sox 10-2 on Saturday.

Barreto homered in his big league debut. He joined Olson and Brugman in becoming the second trio of teammates to hit their first homers in the same game, the Elias Sports Bureau said. It also happened in 1914 with the Kansas City Packers of the Federal League - the rival circuit lasted a couple of seasons, and included many big leaguers.

"They said something about it was the first time it has happened in a while. It's awesome to be able to share that moment with guys that I already built relationships with," said Olson, who played with Brugman and Barreto in the minors.

Former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle had his No. 56 jersey retired in a pregame ceremony. After the 30-minute tribute ended, the A's roughed up James Shields (1-1).

Daniel Gossett (1-2) took advantage of an early 6-0 lead for his first win in the big league. He gave up two unearned runs in six innings.

"It was a special experience for everyone. To get out of there with my first win was just the icing on the cake. It was an awesome experience to be a part of and I'm glad I was here," Gossett said.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria was ejected for the second straight game. He threw his hat to the ground and was tossed, right after third baseman Todd Frazier was ejected for showing his displeasure over a replay review that wasn't reversed.

"I thought it was quick," Frazier said. "I said some things that were borderline, I guess. But at the same time, it's just frustrating, man. You can't get the call right in New York as well, and they've got every different angle. They can zoom in as close as possible, and to think that they cannot make that call is just frustrating with the technology we have today. It's just crazy. It boggles your mind. It really does."

After a leadoff walk in the first, Olson homered to right. He added a two-run homer in the seventh. He was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Thursday and is in fourth stint with the club.

Brugman hit a solo drive in the second. Barreto had a two-run homer in the third.

Barreto, a top prospect in the Oakland organization, was called up after shortstop Chad Pinder injured his hamstring Friday night and was placed on the 10-day disabled list.

Barreto was a late addition to the lineup at second base when Jed Lowrie couldn't play after a mild knee injury he sustained Friday night. The newcomer went 2 for 5 and scored twice.

"Of anybody, you're not surprised. We've seen him hit homers in his first spring training at-bats, so not a total shock. But I think everybody kind of looked around and said, `Wow, I can't remember that ever happening before,'" A's manager Bob Melvin.

Shields gave up six runs on seven hits in three-plus innings. He allowed three home runs in his second start since a two-month DL stint.

Buehrle's number was stenciled onto the dirt behind second base. He went 161-119 with a 3.83 ERA in 390 appearances for Chicago from 2000-11. The lefty pitched two no-hitters for the White Sox, including a perfect game, and helped them win the 2005 World Series.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
White Sox: All signs are pointing to LHP Carlos Rodon making his season debut sometime next week. Rodon, who has been out with a biceps bursitis injury, pitched Friday night for Triple-A Charlotte. Renteria was satisfied with the reports after his fourth rehab start.

"Another start last night. He went 4 1-3, 93 pitches. Actually, in talking to everybody, he threw pretty well. Had a couple miscues in the field that were probably limited his outing. He felt good, pain-free, we're very happy with that. According to the reports, the slider was working very well. He's on track to come on back," Renteria said.

RUN SUPPORT:
Gossett said the Oakland hitters made it easy for him in his third major league start.

"To see guys I've played with a little bit last year and this year, to see Barreto get his first hit and other guys get their first home runs, it's really special for them and I'm glad I was part of it," he said.

FINALLY WINNING ON THE ROAD:
With wins Friday and Saturday, the A's snapped a streak of losing nine consecutive road series.

STATS:
Despite the rough start, Shield reached 2,000th career strikeouts.

UP NEXT:
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (2-3) is scheduled to start Sunday. He is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA over his last five starts.

White Sox: LHP Derek Holland (5-7) is 1-4 with a 9.55 ERA and nine home runs allowed over his last five starts.