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Tag: Cody McKenzie

And Now He’s Fired: Cody McKenzie Sent Packing After Bizarre UFC on FOX 9 Performance Against Sam Stout


(Stout, seen here fighting off a beach bum who snuck his way past securi-what’s that? The man in basketball shorts *is* Cody McKenzie? My sincerest apologies. Photo via Getty.)

Aside from being one of the most unique people to ever pass through the TUF house, Cody McKenzie might be the least intimidating-looking guy to *ever* fight in the UFC, Fred Ettish excluded (all due respect to both men). With his mangy appearance and general “No fucks to give” attitude, McKenzie was a fighter who made his name as one of the most prolific one-trick ponies in the game, scoring 11 out of his 14 career wins by way of his patented McKenzietine choke.

Unfortunately, McKenzie was on borrowed time from the very moment he made the transition to the big leagues, and today brings word that he has been released by the UFC following his disastrous performance against Sam Stout at UFC on FOX 9. The announcement was made by none other than McKenzie himself via Twitter, and immediately followed up by a request to fight Shinya Aoki. Additionally, McKenzie informed us that he already has two fights lined up — one at 180 lbs and one at 170 — and would like to fight for the WSOF in the near future. Personally, I’m all for the idea of seeing McKenzie vs. Palhares with the stipulation that both men can attempt their signature submissions and nothing else for the entirety of the contest. Any takers?

Despite being shut down in the TUF 12 quarterfinals by Nam Phan, there’s no denying the resounding impact McKenzie had on the show, mainly thanks to his pair of McKenzietine wins over Amir Khillah and Marc Stevens and constant needling of Josh Koscheck. That’s what won him over in my eyes, at least.

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UFC on Fox 9: The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly


(Uh…guys? I’m pretty sure that’s Herb Dean. / Screencap via r/MMA)

By Mark Dorsey

Before we get into the endless promotion for the year-ending and stacked UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2, let’s take one last, clear-eyed look at what went down at WEC UFC on Fox 9. The injury-cursed event seemed destined to be a disappointment to many fans who consider the lighter fighters boring, especially considering it was the lightest fight card in UFC history, with an average weight of just over 145 pounds. The fact that the fights were taking place at the Sleep Train Arena seemed like a bad omen, foretelling the coma-inducing boredom that might have resulted from a night of decisions. Nevertheless, despite the haters, the smaller guys provided a card of highly entertaining fights and they showcased why many MMA purists consider them the most exciting fighters in the sport.

The Good
• Too often, referees only get noticed when they screw up. However, the officials for this card should be praised for a solid night of work in which they did their jobs properly and kept the focus where it belongs: the fighters. Props to John McCarthy, Herb Dean, and Mike Beltran for getting through the 11-fight card with no critical errors. Even Dana White, who has been openly critical of MMA officiating in the past, praised both Big John and Herb Dean, saying, “These are the best guys” and complimented his one-time nemesis, McCarthy, saying, “When John is in that Octagon, he is in absolute and total control.”

• Much has been written lately about the success of Team Alpha Male under head trainer, Daune “Bang” Ludwig. Saturday night gave the camp an opportunity to showcase how deserving they were of that praise, with four fighters from the Sacramento-based crew competing. As a whole, the team didn’t perform flawlessly, but they did manage to win two of their four fights. It was a great night for Urijah Faber, as the hometown hero steamrolled Michael McDonald and established himself — again — as the top contender in the Bantamweight division. Chad Mendes also did what he needed to, beating Nik Lentz by unanimous decision. On the losing side, Danny Castillo dropped a close decision to Edson Barboza that many thought should have been a draw, and Joseph Benavidez got knocked out cold by Demetrious Johnson. Other than Benavidez, Team Alpha looked good, and judging from their backstage reaction to Urijah Faber’s win, they truly are a tightknit group that will continue their upward trajectory.

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UFC on FOX 9 Results: Johnson Devastates Benavidez via Brutal KO, Faber Dominates and Submits McDonald


(And that’s the end of that chapter. Photo via Getty)

For an event that was initially much better on paper and seemed certain to disappoint, UFC on FOX 9 came through. The card was entertaining and ended in one of the best knockouts in recent memory.

The notable happenings on the prelims.

Sam Stout out-pointed Cody McKenzie, tenderizing the grappler’s liver and body throughout the 15-minute contest. The bashing of McKenzie’s body wasn’t the most interesting part though. No, the most interesting highlight from the fight was McKenzie wearing sponsor-less shorts with the price tag still hanging off them. Apparently, he showed up without shorts or even a mouthpiece. Pretty sad.

Zach Makovsky defeated Scott Jorgensen via decision. Interestingly enough, Makovsky—a former Bellator champ—didn’t have to prove himself in WSOF to get a shot in the UFC. Funny how things work out like that, isn’t it?

Pat Healy dropped a unanimous decision to Bobby Green. The crowd booed the announcement (or maybe they were saying boo-urns). The decision wasn’t horrible although it was pretty clear Green didn’t win all three rounds (but somehow 2/3 judges thought he did).

Edson Barboza vs. Danny Castillo elevated the card’s energy level. In the first round, Castillo ran over Barboza like a freight train. He floored the Brazilian striker, unleashed vicious ground-and-pound, and nearly choked him out. Somehow, Barboza survived the torrent of offense and even managed to reverse his fortunes in the second round. In that frame, Barboza made use of leg and body kicks to stymie Castillo and nearly finish him. The third round was a little closer and slower-paced. Barboza walked away with a majority decision.

In the last preliminary fight, rising star and late replacement Ryan LaFlare carved up Court McGee‘s face with pinpoint striking. The Long Islander outworked McGee until the third round, where he started to gas a little bit. But LaFlare’s work in the first two rounds was enough to secure a unanimous decision.

Get the main card recap after the jump.

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Shit Just Got Real: Cody McKenzie Returns to Lightweight, Meets Sam Stout at ‘UFC on FOX 9′


(“Don’t…take…the blue pill…” Photo via MMAFighting.) 

After likely saving his own UFC career by ending Leonard Garcia’s at UFC 159, it is being reported that TUF 12 alum Cody McKenzie will return to the lightweight division at UFC on FOX 9: Pettis vs. Thomson to take on veteran slugger Sam Stout.

Both fighters are arguably in a must-win situation, as both have dropped 3 of their past 5 contests. The cards are clearly more stacked against McKenzie, however, as his three octagon wins have all come over fighters who have since been released by the UFC — Aaron Wilkinson, Marcus Levesseur, and Garcia. “The AK Kid” was also recently dubbed “the worst fighter in the UFC” by Chael P. Sonnen, but he did provide the single greatest moment in The Ultimate Fighter history, so who the hell really knows what the future holds for this goofy, affable sonofabitch.

Stout, on the other hand, was most recently choked out by James Krause at UFC 161 in a Fight of the Night-earning affair. Prior to that, he notched a decision victory over Carlos Fodor at UFC 157. Prior to that, Stout was routed by John Makdessi at UFC 154 in a fight that highlighted his somewhat skewed interpretation of MMA scoring.

Official CP Prediction: Stout lights up McKenzie for a solid two rounds before running directly into the Alaskan’s signature McKenzietine. Upon waking up, Stout will retire from the sport in his post-fight interview, claiming that “He’s getting too old for this shit” and just wants a desk job. But in a shocking turn of events, Stout will immediately change his mind, snatch the mic from Joe Rogan’s hand, and inform the attending audience that he will be challenging the Michael Chandler/Eddie Alvarez winner for the Bellator lightweight title at an event TBD.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH ZEBENYAAAAAAA!!!!

-J. Jones

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Finally, A Rational Explanation for Why Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie Was Booked at UFC 148


(“Based on the odor, I would say this man’s been dead for three days.” / Photo via MMAFighting)

Our old bro Ben Fowlkes has written an in-depth double-interview feature-thingy on the UFC’s dynamic matchmaking duo of Joe Silva and Sean Shelby. If you want to learn more about how these guys operate, where they came from, and what they consider to be worst part of their job, give it a read. Personally, our favorite part is this bit in which Sean Shelby reveals the truth behind a baffling UFC mystery — how the hell was the epic UFC 148 squash-match between Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie booked in the first place? Dig it:

[W]hen McKenzie wanted to come down [to featherweight], initially Shelby wasn’t sure he could use him. Then Bart Palaszewski pulled out of a fight with Mendes, and suddenly the situation changed.

“What people don’t understand is, it’s not like I could just remove Chad from the card and say, ‘Sorry, I can get you a fight four months from now,’” Shelby said. “We understand. You spent money on a camp. You’ve got bills to pay. We will do our best to find you a fight. I bend over backward to keep guys in fights, to keep the machine moving. You have to.”

That’s another part of the process that outsiders don’t always get, Silva and Shelby said. Fighters are promised a certain number of fights within a certain number of months. Keep them on the sidelines too long, and the UFC could be in breach of contract. Beyond that, they’d also risk turning the UFC into the kind of promotion they hate.

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Like a Boss: Reliving Eight of the Greatest Walk-Off Submissions in MMA History


(“All right, boys, break it up.” Photo via Sherdog.) 

Josh Burkman’s incredible and somewhat controversial (MAZZAGATTI!!) walk-off submission of the nearly-unsubmittable Jon Fitch at WSOF 3 (video here) may be old news by this point, but it’s been keeping us up nights here at CagePotato ever since. Not because of how shocking or unpredictable it was, but because we couldn’t honestly recall the last time we saw a fighter act as judge, jury, executioner and medieval corpse disposer during his own fight.

The walk-off knockout, while equally entertaining and respectable, is a lot easier to come by based on its definition alone. The walk-off submission, however, is an entirely different beast, so let’s take a look back at eight classic examples of this phenomenon (in no particular order) to honor those who were actually able to pull it off. Enjoy.

Royce Gracie vs. Art Jimmerson – UFC 1

Ah yes, the very first walk-off submission in UFC History. In every sense of the word.

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Suicidal Call Out of the Day/Possibly Year: Cody McKenzie Wants in on Josh Thomson’s Highlight Reel


(Must…resist…shit…getting…too…real…)

As a big fan of TUF 12′s Cody McKenzie, I’ve come to realize that it’s hard to fault the guy for his nonsensical and often self-destructive decisions, especially when it comes to choosing his opponents. The man reaches for the stars, dammit, and will simply not be told that he doesn’t have the right to call out Frankie Edgar, or Jose Aldo, or Chad Mendes, despite the fact that just managed to bring his win-loss ratio in the UFC to the .500 mark.

No, “The AK Kid” wasn’t one to overthink, or even realize the fact that he had dropped 3 out of his last 4 fights heading into his do-or-die bout with Leonard Garcia at UFC 159, which is why it makes total sense that he, now a featherweight, is calling out top lightweight contender Josh Thomson, like he didn’t just save his UFC career by beating a guy on a four-fight losing streak. How can you not love this kid?

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UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen Aftermath, Part Two — These Tired Eyes


(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

If there’s anything positive for Alan Belcher to take away from his loss to Michael Bisping in the co-main event of last night’s UFC 159, it’s that he was right about Bisping being unable to knock him out. Bisping had plenty of opportunities to do so throughout the fight, yet Belcher was too resilient of an opponent. Unfortunately, that’s right about where the positive notes end. Bisping not only outstruck Belcher by a considerable margin throughout their fight, but also avoided all of Belcher’s takedowns. Simply put, Belcher didn’t have any answers for Bisping’s jab-n-jog offense.

And then there was the eye poke that ended up stopping the fight, awarding Michael Bisping the technical decision victory. It was a disappointing way to end an otherwise decent scrap – especially considering Belcher’s previous troubles with that eye. Fortunately, Belcher has since tweeted that he is doing okay.

Perhaps the strangest thing about the eye poke is that this fight wasn’t the only bout on the card to end in technical decision due to an eye poke. Earlier in the evening, the light heavyweight bout between Ovince St. Preux and Gian Villante also ended when St. Preux inadvertently poked Villante in the eye. St. Preaux walked away with a technical majority decision victory. Kind of makes a case for changing the design of MMA gloves.

Elsewhere on the card…

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Ben vs. Jared: UFC 159 Edition


(“How ’bout we say ‘triangle choke, round 2.’ I’ve got a t-shirt riding on this.” / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

With UFC 159 slated for tomorrow night, CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and beloved CP staff writer Jared Jones have teamed up to argue about all the important themes surrounding the event. So how will the absurd light-heavyweight title fight end, exactly? What will happen if Alan Belcher actually lets Michael Bisping take a free shot to his face? Can the third women’s UFC fight possibly live up to the first two? How many more fights can Leonard Garcia lose before the UFC gives him the ol’ heave-ho? Read on, and throw down your own opinions in the comments section.

Will Jon Jones immediately demolish Chael Sonnen, or will he play around with Chael a little before demolishing him? And will Chael retire after the loss?

BG:
 I rarely make sweeping statements about who will win an MMA fight because 1) anything can happen in this crazy sport, and 2) the things you write on the Internet often come back to haunt you. But yes, Jon Jones will win this fight. I absolutely guarantee it. Sonnen’s best weapon — his relentless wrestling attack — will dash apart against Jones’s own wrestling, which is precision-tuned for the sport of MMA. Quickly out of options, Chael will throw his patented “I give up” spinning backfist, fall down against the cage, and will whisper a quick prayer to his God before Jones literally eats him and shits him out. And I do mean literally, okay? Literally.

I’m leaning towards a quick beat-down in this fight rather than an extended clowning, because Jones takes his job too seriously to “play around” with an opponent. (He’s not exactly Mr. Fun, we’ve noticed.) And once Chael feels the power of a large light-heavyweight, he’ll realize what a bad idea this whole thing was in the first place. To exit the sport directly after another humiliation wouldn’t fit in with Sonnen’s blustery self-image, so I think he’ll take at least one more fight — maybe at middleweight, maybe at light-heavyweight — before calling it quits. Once he starts losing to non-champions, he’ll wisely make the switch to full-time UFC talking head and occasional hair-texture tester.

JJ: Mark my words, this fight will be Jon Jones’s UFC 97 (or UFC 112, depending on which fight you thought was worse). Jones may not be a fun-loving guy, as you stated, but it also appears that the tryptophan-induced honeymoon between these two TUF coaches has passed, leaving behind only apathy in its wake. If you’ve noticed in the past, the foes “Bones knows” on a personal level seem to last the longest in the cage with him (Rampage, Rashad) — perhaps out of respect, perhaps because they are both tough as hell — so I think we should start preparing ourselves for a tepid, five-round affair highlighted by Bones’s jab and Sonnen’s desperate attempts to convert a single leg.

And when all is said and done, Sonnen will snatch the mic out of Joe Rogan’s hand, and in an attempt to mimic [enter professional wrestler name here]’s infamous retirement speech, will announce that, and I quote:

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Cody McKenzie Rebooked in Do-or-Die Fight Against the Un-Do-or-Dieable Leonard Garcia at UFC 159


(“No, Leonard, I don’t know how they make Dippin’ Dots either.”)

When Leonard Garcia and Cody McKenzie were originally booked to face each other back at UFC 155, we categorized the pairing as a “loser leaves town” match. What fools we were; although McKenzie was forced out of the fight with an injury, his replacement opponent in Max Holloway was responsible for Garcia’s fourth straight loss in the UFC*. And while a whole bunch of guys got the axe shortly thereafter, Leonard Garcia was somewhat surprisingly not one of them.

We double-checked the list of fired fighters, then we triple checked it. We even created a flowchart to try and make sense of things, but it appears that as long as Garcia continues to treat strategy like Lloyd Irvin treats consent, he will always have a place in the UFC. It’s a luxury that his upcoming opponent, TUF 12 alum Cody McKenzie, cannot afford.

McKenzie and Garcia have in fact been rebooked for UFC 159 in what has to be a do-or-die fight for at least McKenzie, who has dropped three of his past four UFC contests including a 40 second KO via body punch loss to Chad Mendes in his last outing. Again, according to our chart, McKenzie’s current place on the “100 heavy” UFC roster makes about as much sense as Garcia’s, so expect these two to put on a show come April 27th. One of their UFC careers could depend on it.

So who takes this one, Potato Nation, the one-trick pony or the one-track mind?

The full lineup for UFC 159 is after the jump. 

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