EXCLUSIVE | Cody McKenzie talks Training, His Win over Leonard Garcia, and the Need for Better Judging in MMA on BJPenn.com’s Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio

May 21, 2013 8:00 am by Jake Chastain


| Cody McKenzie kicked off hour number two of Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio on Sunday night and we were excited to have him on the show. Cody was a past contestant on The Ultimate Fighter and holds a nice, respectable record of 14-3 with all three of his losses coming to top fighters in the UFC organization. He is a well versed fighter but is most known for his outstanding grappling and ground game.  McKenzie  is always looking to finish fights and give fans a great show. His excitement and desire to finish fights have made him a fan favorite in the UFC and Cody was kind enough to join our boys on the radio show this past Sunday night. He touched on several topics surrounding his life and the MMA world around him. Here are some of the highlights from that interview:

McKenzie first touched on his decision to leave training in Las Vegas to go back home to train in Washington:

“I’m up in Washington. I’ve been out of Spokane, Washington for a long time now. I’m over on the Seattle side right now. I just did a tournament yesterday, I did Naga, now I just taught a seminar over at Brian Johnson’s academy in Ione, Washington.”

“I haven’t been in Vegas for awhile.”

“Yeah the names down there are better but the organization is not and how they’re training isn’t as good as what we’re doing. I mean, in my opinion, you know? Some guys like Vegas more but they also probably had a better set up than me, they’ve been there longer. The training was good there, don’t get me wrong, but I was just doing a lot on my own. Any of the coaches wanted money, anyone that wanted to help me wanted money…no everybody; John Wood let me train at his gym for free so I was mostly just training at Team Syndicate and training there just kind of by myself. I’d get partners when I could. Matt Riddle and I worked together a lot but overall Spokane is just my home. So I got better things set up there. I got family close by, a few hundred, a hundred miles away so Spokane is just my home. I’m a Pacific Northwest guy, through and through. I was going crazy not being in the woods. I like living out in the woods, you know?”

Reflecting on his first professional career decision against Leonard Garcia:

“I actually went to a decision with a guy a lot like Leonard before. We went 5 rounds back in my amateur day. I fought 9 amateur fights and I went 9 and, or I fought 10 amateur fight and went 9-1as an amateur and that one was that decision. I actually kinda got, not kinda got robbed on the decision, I fully got robbed on the decision. I whooped the guy up pretty well I thought, controlled the whole fight, he didn’t really land much on me and, yeah, they gave it to him. The fight is actually on YouTube. It’s ‘Cody McKenzie vs. Real Life Super Hero Phoenix Jones’. I guess the guy is a super hero now up in Seattle. If you’ve ever heard of Phoenix Jones he’s a super hero up here in Seattle. Pretty funny that I fought him back when we were amateurs. He was 9-0 with 9 knock-outs and I was 5-0 with 5 subs and it went to a decision but I felt I won hands down and they gave him the decision. I mean, you can watch the whole fight on YouTube so people can make their minds up themselves if they wanna check it out it’s a pretty good scrap. But overall, yeah, they gave him the nod.”

On not being impressed with his own performance in his decision win over Leonard Garcia:

“I was also disappointed because I’m never happy over a decision. I’m known to be a finisher. I’ve finished everybody but two people that I’ve fought, or got finished. I’m all or nothing I’ve always felt. So when it went to a decision I was kinda disappointed because I didn’t train as hard as I should have. So I should have put a little more into it so that I could have got him, you know, but I didn’t. But I was still stoked that I won, of course. But I did play it safe so I think I was kinda disappointed in that.”

On who he thinks should be judging MMA fights:

“You need guys at the high level who have competed in MMA at the high level and aren’t fighting anymore to be judges. You don’t need some guy who used to do high school wrestling and now he works for the commission so now he can be a ref and get money or be a judge and get money, you know? Its like, ‘he might have done some boxing fights’, like, guess what? This isn’t boxing. This isn’t wrestling. This is mixed martial arts. You have to know it all. You have to know when the guy is still on landing better than the guy on top. You got to know jiu-jitsu. You got to know it all. And these high level fighters can see it all. These other people don’t know. I mean, who’s judging these? It’s a bunch of old men to me. A bunch a people that have never fought somebody. Unless you’ve fought somebody you can’t see what’s going on unless you’ve watched a lot of fights…like, I don’t know. Maybe I dead wrong all together. But to me it seems like a big joke how a lot of it is going down.”

Cody McKenzie’s parting words with Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio:

“I want to thank Quest Nutrition. They helped me out a lot for my last fight. Lazy the Savage, all of my training partners, Brian Johnson, Brian Johnson Academy. All of the guys who helped me out in my career. My friends and family most of all, I love them so much. I wouldn’t be where I’m at without them. And all the guys, training partners back in Spokane and everywhere else I’ve worked with guys. I appreciate all the help from everybody and I appreciate you guys at BJPenn.com. Love BJPenn.com, I’m a big fan of BJ and Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio.”

To listen to the entire interview with Cody on Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio click here.

You can follow Cody on Twitter @TheCodyMcKenzie and be sure to stay glued to BJPenn.com for all of you exclusive MMA interviews and updates.


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