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Cody McKenzie Continues to be Adorable, Out of His Mind

("What has two thumbs, wears a red jersey and has an insatiable hunger for Hot Pockets right now?" PicProps: Ultimate

Not to get sidetracked by the psychology of it all, but clearly a certain amount of success in athletics must be based on not thinking about it too much. Hence, the stunning percentage of dumb guys who are also professional athletes. Now, we’re not trying to say that Cody McKenzie is dumb, per se, only that he sure doesn’t appear to over think things. In fact, perhaps that blind confidence – coupled with a freaky guillotine — is his greatest strength as a fighter. There’s something about McKenzie’s particular blend of boundless enthusiasm and wanton hubris that we find incredibly endearing. His surprising run on “TUF 12,” during which he performed the MMA equivalent of continually poking a sleeping grizzly bear with a stick by talking an endless stream of shit to Josh Koscheck, was enough to win our hearts. His choke-out of Aaron Wilkinson at the show’s live finale? Well, that was just hilarious.

From the outside looking in, it appears the UFC may be just as bemused by McKenzie as we are, perhaps vowing to just keep giving him fights in rapid succession until somebody beats him. That – paired with the fact the kid just doesn’t seem know any better – would explain why the company is moving him straight from his victory over Wilkinson earlier this month into a short-notice fight with Yves Edwards on Jan. 22. It would also explain why he’s prone to say stuff like this: “I’d love to be able to cut down to 145 and fight (Jose) Aldo,” McKenzie told MMA Junkie this week. “I respect the guy, but I think that would be a war.”

Yeah, no. Clearly a complete inability to conceptualize your own limitations can only take you so far.

McKenzie will be an injury replacement for Melvin Guillard when he faces off with Edwards at Fight Night 23. He’ll also be seven weeks removed from a relatively light night of work that saw him catch Wilkinson in his patented modified guillotine. McKenzie says he’s long admired Edwards, a UFC veteran who’s on the comeback trail after his win over John Gunderson back in September. McKenzie was just a teen when he watched Edwards blast Josh Thomson in the face with a high kick at UFC 49. Come to think of it, that gives McKenzie an idea …

"I’m stoked … I was begging for (this fight)," he said. "I’m a big fan of Yves Edwards. The first UFC card I ever rented, I think I was a sophomore in high school, and he was on the card. I love that he kicked Josh ‘The Punk’ Thomson in the face. I’d love to kick Josh ‘The Punk’ Thomson in the face, too. (Thomson) talks a lot of shit on my training partner, Lyle Beerbohm. Lyle Beerbohm will smash him with one hand, so I don’t know why he’s running his mouth. Lyle’s a bad, bad dude."

See? Kind of makes McKenzie seem sort of overly suggestible, but in a totally likable way. Another thing we find likable about him? The following story he dropped on MMA Junkie about the time he made some extra scratch by choking a dude out in the parking lot of a local tavern in Alaska (or Washington, it’s unclear and, frankly, this shit could happen either place).
"Back in the day, I guillotined a guy outside of a bar at three in the morning and made $300," McKenzie said. Actually, according to the Junkie he ‘recalled (it) with a laugh.’ "He didn’t think I could get him. I showed him I could.

“He was a big wrestler and a crab fisherman guy. I was sleeping at the end of the bar. My brother wakes me up and is like, ‘Hey, I’ve got a match for you, Cody. That guy.’ I looked over, and it was a guy all amped up to try and wrestle with me. I went over there and guillotined him in like two seconds and made $300 … At one point I actually gave him a wedgie and a noogie."

Sleeping at the end of the bar? What’s not to love about that? As for our concerns that once UFC-level competition figures out McKenzie’s guillotine, we might see the end of his run in the Octagon? Well, we hope you don’t think he’s going to spend a lot of time thinking about it.

"A lot of people call me a ‘one-trick pony,’" McKenzie said. "I actually call myself a choke artist. People can say whatever they want. I’m 12-0 now, all first-round finishes except my first fight, which was a second-round TKO. I’m going in there, and I’m finishing people. That’s what the crowd wants to see. I think that’s why I have a lot of fans.”

Cagepotato Comments

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snagglepuss- December 24, 2010 at 5:27 pm
speeking of alaska/fisherman. why isnt mike rowe the official voice of ufc
Ballkick- December 23, 2010 at 5:29 am
Cody is an underdogs dog,....I hope he McKenzitines his way to the top. War Cody!
Spicymeatball- December 22, 2010 at 9:19 pm
McKenzitine is the best, but if he wants to see how an Aldo fight would turn out he should just look at Aldo-Brookins, and then multiply that beat-down times 25.
Sudos KFC- December 22, 2010 at 2:30 pm
I love Cody Mckensie #sohomo
Charming Charlie- December 22, 2010 at 2:07 pm
Sorry Mckenzie, Nathan Marquart is currently holds the title of Choke Artist. You probably think you could take the title in a matchup, but guess what? Even if you Mckenzitine Marquart, you both still hold the title. Get it? No? Okay, well good luck against Aldo.
Yazloz18- December 22, 2010 at 12:45 pm
Guess Cody wasnt the only dude sleeping in the bar that night. War Cody
Del Fuego- December 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm
Any guy who can go from sleeping in a bar one minute, to choking some wrestler/fisherman out the next minute, is OK in my book. I hope this guy keeps on winning.
ReX13- December 22, 2010 at 11:53 am
DesolationUSA >>  The TUF fights are exhibition matches, and not counted toward the fighters' pro records.  This is so they can keep the results under wraps while the show is airing.
DesolationUSA- December 22, 2010 at 11:46 am
12-0? Am I the only one who remembers him loosing by TKO to Nam?
ReX13- December 22, 2010 at 11:06 am
Seriously considering picking up 'Kenzie for the fantasy season. 
meanfinger- December 22, 2010 at 11:00 am
he doesnt mean he's chokin like the NY giants..
exect4500- December 22, 2010 at 10:38 am
McKenzie has to be the one person on earth who takes pride in the term "Choke Artist"
frndlylion- December 22, 2010 at 10:38 am
Cody trains in my home town with Lyle Beerbohm. Nice to see a local boy do good. WAR Cody!!