“It’s definitely not what it used to be, and that’s why I fight a little bit less,” he said. “I’ve been fighting once a year because it’s there, but I just don’t need it on all the time. When I put my mind to it and I get in fight camp mode, I’m competing with 20-year-olds non-stop and I’m not losing s***! I’m not losing rounds. I’m not losing sprinting matches. I’m not losing strength and conditioning. I’m a competitor, so when I turn it on, it’s on.

“I don’t feel the need to have that year-round like I used to,” he added with a laugh. “I’ve earned the right to turn it off and on.”

Order UFC 292: Sterling vs O'Malley

The sickness switch has been on for the last bunch of weeks, which included a trip to Denver for a month to train with UFC lightweight Rafa Garcia, marking the first time since Swanson and his wife Kenda started a family that he’s been away from them during a training camp.
Saturday night, the 39-year-old Hall of Famer aims to show that he’s still improving and that has plenty left to offer, hopeful that a strong showing this weekend can help entice the UFC to bring an event to his hometown in the not-too-distant future.

“There are a couple more things I want to accomplish — one of which is fighting in my hometown, getting the UFC to come to my hometown — and I need to show that I’m still there,” said the Palm Springs native. “I think the last one I can chalk up to not being my best in a different weight class, but not performing this weekend starts to tell a different story.

“I need to go out there this weekend, kick some a** and look good doing it,” he added. “And I got no problem doing that.”