Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
In a time where massive UFC cuts have started and been hinted about, two popular undercard fighters could very well be battling for survival on at UFC 159 when Cody McKenzie (13-3) faces Leonard "Bad Boy" Garcia (15-10) in a featherweight battle.
Garcia confirmed the fight, on April 27 in Newark, N.J., at the Prudential Center, on his Twitter account.
On several occasions, Dana White has talked about Garcia as the kind of fighter they love with his all action style. When he lost to Max Holloway via split decision on the Dec. 29 show in Las Vegas, his fourth straight, White immediately shut down any talk that Garcia would be cut with a vote of confidence.
Still, one could argue that Garcia has gotten some lucky judging decisions. His last win was on Dec. 4, 2010, against Nam Phan, and that was one of the worst decisions in recent years. UFC booked a rematch with Phan winning. If he was a little unlucky, and many would argue, had his fights been judged correctly, he could be riding a nine-fight losing streak.
Still, he's had four fight of the night awards, and unlike the plethora of seemingly interchangeable undercard fighters, every serious UFC fan knows Garcia. There is excitement surrounding his fights as people expect, and they usually get, a wild, entertaining brawl. But at some point, and five in a row could be it, you have to win particularly when White has said they are going to have to cut 100 fighters.
McKenzie vs. Garcia was originally set for Dec. 29, but McKenzie pulled out due to an undisclosed injury.
McKenzie's made a name for himself on season 12 of the Ultimate Fighter with his unique personality. He came across like a one-trick pony, a guillotine choke called the McKenzietine. During an early episode of the show, Marc Stevens, a college wrestling star who was an early favorite, was told to make sure and avoid the guillotine, yet McKenzie still put him out with the move in ten seconds.
Of McKenzie's 13 career wins, 11 have come with the move, all in the first round, and that doesn't include the Stevens fight. But he's lost three of his last four fights, and in his debut at featherweight, was finished by Chad Mendes with a body punch in 31 seconds.
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