In the territorial days of professional wrestling, the loser leaves town match was a way for wrestling promoters to wrap up a storyline when one of the wrestlers left his company for a rival promotion. Even though MMA is much different from professional wrestling, our sport still books these fights every so often. It isn’t exactly uncommon for the UFC to book fights between two not-quite-contenders, where the losers receive a pink slip and a call from Ray or Bjorn.
Case in point: The UFC announced yesterday that featherweights Leonard Garcia and Cody McKenzie will meet up at UFC 155. With both men being a combined 3-7 in their last ten fights (2-8 if you aren’t blind, deaf and dumb), and both coming off of less-than-impressive losses, the loser of this fight will almost certainly be spending time outside of the UFC.
On paper, Leonard Garcia is heading into this bout in worse condition than his opponent. Garcia has only won once in his last five fights, and that victory was a total bullshit decision over Nam Phan. The only thing that may save Garcia is the fact that he’s usually entertaining in defeat – his Zuffa career includes a total of five Fight of the Night awards, one Knockout of the Night and 2010′s Fight of the Year, a total bullshit victory over The Korean Zombie at WEC 48. Oh, and if you haven’t noticed, judges have an inexplicable love for the guy.
In reality, Cody McKenzie is in worse standing with the UFC heading into this contest. The TUF alumnus has been a one-trick pony, using his McKenzietine to rack up victories. While this strategy works in the bush leagues – and even against the lower end of the UFC’s roster – it has been disastrous for him against legitimate competition. McKenzie may only be on a one fight skid, but he could not have possibly looked worse in his last outing. Cody McKenzie managed to do jack shit before Chad Mendes crumbled him with a body shot just thirty-one seconds into their fight. Another loss would put the former lightweight at 2-4, and demonstrate that he just isn’t UFC material.
Based on a completely scientific formula I just made up involving both fighters’ recent fights and the very nature of loser leaves town matches, you can expect this fight to be an epic striker-vs-grappler clash. For three rounds, expect Cody McKenzie to put on a grappling clinic against Leonard Garcia, powering his way through Garcia’s wild striking, while attempting the dreaded McKenzietine numerous times throughout the fight. Garcia will win this match 30-27 on all scorecards, and give a post-fight interview that mostly consists of him shrugging his shoulders. McKenzie will scream “I’LL BE BACK!” while Dana White has security drag him out of the arena.
At UFC 156, a masked featherweight will absolutely destroy some hapless jobber while Joe Rogan comments that nobody knows who this new guy is, but it’s crazy how much he physically resembles Cody McKenzie. The masked grappler will end the fight with a McKenzietine, and we will all smile, knowing that the guy under the mask is clearly Cody McKenzie. The new guy will demand a fight against Leonard Garcia, and Dana White will happily grant him that fight at UFC 157. The new guy will destroy Leonard Garcia, take off his mask, and reveal to us all that he is actually just some random featherweight that has thick chest hair. Our collective minds will be blown away by this.
So that’s our prediction for this fight. Call your bookie now and bet on all of that happening. Do it.