This is a bit of a mismatch, as the rankings indicate. Mendes has shown that he is one of the best in the world at 145 pounds, and is looking for a rebound win here. Meanwhile, McKenzie is still developing as a fighter, though he does have the proverbial "puncher's chance" here thanks to his excellent guillotine. If he can get the choke and tap out Mendes, it will be a huge upset.
How do these two stack up?
Mendes: 27 years old | 5'6" | 66" reach McKenzie: 24 years old | 6'0" | 74" reach
Chad "Money" Mendes is a training partner to Urijah Faber at Team Alpha Male. And like many of the Alpha Male fighters, he's a tenacious cardio machine, able to grind opponents down with both striking and wrestling. He put together a good 11-0 record before challenging Jose Aldo for the UFC Featherweight title earlier this year and earning his first loss. This is his first fight back. Mendes is a tough fight for anyone, but he's in real danger of falling into the Jon Fitch role - the guy who can beat everyone in the division except the champion. That's a tough place to be.
Cody McKenzie is a veteran of season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter. With his unique personality and look, he's become something of a cult favorite. That status is helped by his fun fights, and in particular, his surprising success with the guillotine choke. Of his 13 wins, all but 1 (his debut fight) have been won via guillotine, which is crazy. Opponents know it's coming, but he's crafty enough to still get them. However, against more experienced ground fighters like Yves Edwards and Vagner Rocha, he has struggled. It will be interesting to see if he stays so focused on this signature move, or begins to mix things up.
Why should you care?
McKenzie is always good for some fun, from his much parodied fighter profile video to his exciting scraps on the ground. He's goofy, but what can I say, I enjoy watching the guy fight.
More UFC 148 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
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