Mendes (12-1) buried a straight right hand into the solar plexus of McKenzie (13-3) and finished the fight soon after with hammerfists on the ground.
"It was definitely something we were working on," Mendes told broadcaster Joe Rogan after the win. "He's got a long body, and we took advantage of it."
What We'll Remember from This Fight
The TKO. It's not often you see a body shot directly lead to a stoppage. Plus, it was the only thing that happened anyway.
What We Learned about Chad Mendes
I guess he's resilient. After losing for the first time just six months ago, Mendes didn't take long to get back in the saddle. He's still a top contender at 145 pounds.
What We Learned about Cody McKenzie
His length could be an advantage at featherweight, but it wasn't in this fight. Mendes specifically said that McKenzie's torso made for a big target, and the bomb he landed there was enough to put the Alaska native on the mat.
I don't see any reason why McKenzie's next opponent would try anything different, especially given that McKenzie's signature chokehold becomes more likely the longer the fight lasts.
What's Next for Chad Mendes
Any of the top contenders make sense; I'd personally give him "The Korean Zombie," aka Chan Sung Jung. That could easily main-event an FX card.
What's Next for Cody McKenzie
He's who we thought he was, i.e., not an immediate contender at 145 pounds. Turn down the heat a notch for his next engagement with the winner between Max Holloway and Justin Lawrence, who square off in August at UFC 150.
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