McKenzie returns to octagon (Mixed Martial Arts)

September 17, 2011
Cody McKenzie

Cordova’s Cody McKenzie is one of the more promising UFC fighters in the lightweight division, having won 12 of his first 13 pro MMA fights.

The submission specialist has won 10 times with a guillotine choke, once by a triangle choke.

McKenzie, of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ fame, will take on Vagner Rocha tonight in New Orleans as part of the UFC Fight Night 25: ‘Battle on the Bayou’ card.

The 23-year-old Alaskan will face an opponent that won his last fight by unanimous decision after reportedly about 75 leg kicks.

Don’t expect McKenzie to cry uncle.

The 6-foot, 155-pounder is an animal in the octagon, hardened by years of commercial fishing and scraping with family and friends in his hometown.

“I have an older brother who’s a lot bigger than me, and I’ve always fought with him and his friends always beat me up,” McKenzie told

“I was in plenty of fights, and growing up in a small fishing community in Alaska, there’s not much to do in a place like that other than drink and fight.”

He has wanted to be a MMA fighter since high school after watching a UFC fight on TV. Years later he was one of those guys on the tube as a member of the reality show ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’

McKenzie now trains out of a gym in Washington called Fancy Pants Fight Team.

UPDATE: Rocha (7-2) kept this battle on the ground and got a rear-naked choke that forced McKenzie to tap at 3:46 of Round 2.