Cody McKenzie was given a stiff punishment for trying to beat the system.
At a meeting of the Nevada Athletic Commission on Wednesday, the former UFC fighter received a four-year suspension after it was ruled that he attempted to cheat a drug test ahead of a bout scheduled for Sept. 14.
McKenzie was not in attendance Wednesday, and could not be reached for testimony, thus a motion was passed to “find the respondent in default” and proceed with a verdict.
The reported circumstances of McKenzie’s failed test involved initially refusing to provide a urine sample ahead of a welterweight main event bout opposite JD Domengeaux at a Tuff-N-Uff show in Las Vegas this past September, leading to the fight’s cancellation shortly before the fighters were to walk out.
On Sept. 14, McKenzie was asked to submit a sample and he refused, saying he would return to his room and provide one later. When he did submit a sample, officials determined that it was abnormal and McKenzie confessed that it came from a “bottled urine substitute”. He allegedly wanted to avoid the test due to recently smoking marijuana.
Because no proper sample was collected, the NAC committee could not rule out that McKenzie was attempting to hide performance-enhancing drugs and not just a drug of abuse. A pair of motions were passed to determine that McKenzie should receive a two-year suspension from competition for “aggravating circumstances” and an additional two years for avoiding the drug test altogether and showing a “disregard for protocol.”
The latter decision was motivated by McKenzie not attending Wednesday’s hearing and what was determined to be a lack of communication and contrition on his part since the incident occurred. He will also pay $944.84 in attorney reimbursement fees.
This is not McKenzie’s first drug test related fumble. Last December, the Italian Grappling MMA Federation issued McKenzie a suspension for refusing to provide a test sample in relation to an Oct. 14, 2017, bout with Stefan Paterno in Milan, Italy.
McKenzie, best known for his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter 12 and a seven-fight run in the UFC, has lost seven of nine fights since parting ways with the UFC in 2013 and his record currently sits at 16-11.