Cody McKenzie vs. Leonard Garcia was penciled in by many fans as the third fight on the Facebook card, until Nick Catone vs. James Head got cancelled, then it was the second. It was a fight to mock the senses of fight fans, two of the UFC's lowest caliber fighters facing off in a battle to save their jobs with the promotion. To the surprise of many McKenzie came out and showed that while he may not be a great fighter, he's head and shoulders above Leonard Garcia.
McKenzie dominated this fight in all aspects. His striking was awkward and stork like in it's overly jointed delivery, but he danced in and out of range, pushing out the occasional straight jab, and it was enough to fluster Garcia on the feet. But the two fighters spent a reasonable amount of time on the ground as well, and it was there that McKenzie showed that he's really been working hard to round out his game.
McKenzie took Garcia down at will throughout the fight, and stayed latched onto him through transitions and scrambles, frustrating and exhausting Garcia on his way to a decision victory. Cody McKenzie defeated Leonard Garcia via unanimous decision (29–28, 30–27, 30–27).
Cody McKenzie's grappling. He's not ready for the Worlds, but he showed some serious development from a single submission fighter into someone who can chain together attacks and maintain dominant position throughout rounds. Garcia may not be great, but he's not terrible on the ground, and McKenzie made him look like a raw amateur.
Much like the Siler vs. Holobaugh fight before it, the striking, all of it. This was really one of the most unimaginably poor displays of striking that you're ever likely to see on a UFC card. I've often thought that Garcia gets a little too much heat for his air-targeted fury, but no more. Using the bare minimum in distance changes and body movement McKenzie was able to utterly flummox Garcia while standing. McKenzie himself didn't look much more polished striking than he did against Chad Mendes. All told not a good showing for either fighter.
Cody McKenzie's swimming trunks deserve a special mention here as well.
For Garcia, this has to be the end of the line. I'm sure there's a Legacy FC or KOTC card that would love to have another former UFC fighter to build talent off of and sell tickets, and that's where he belongs. If the UFC doesn't cut him after this loss, then they've made a clear mockery of their announced roster trimming plans. Expect to see Garcia on AXS TV in the near future.
For McKenzie this was a promising, if still limited, development. He won, he kept his job, and he looks to be turning himself into a more skilled single dimensional fighter that could hang around for another two or three fights. I'd say give him Nam Phan even off a loss, or the winner of Mizuto Hirota vs. Rodrigo Damm if he has to face a winning fighter next.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Never. Unless you have a serious thing for bad MMA, there is no good reason to watch this fight. Sure it's a chance to see McKenzie go from worst UFC fighter to better than worst, but there aren't many ways to sugarcoat it.