UFC Veteran Cody McKenzie Gives Blood to Make Weight for Battlegrounds MMA

Scott Harris@ScottHarrisMMAMMA Lead WriterOctober 2, 2014

Cody McKenzie is seen after winning his bout against Leonard Garcia at UFC 159 in Newark, NJ, Saturday, April 27,2013. McKenzie won via 3-round unanimous decision.   (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

And to think he used to fight at featherweight.

Popular oddball, notorious party dude and former UFC competitor and The Ultimate Fighter contestant Cody McKenzie reportedly was reduced to giving blood in order to make weight for Friday's Battlegrounds MMA welterweight tournament. 

The news was reported Thursday by Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting

McKenzie has always walked, fought, cut weight and done everything else to the beat of his own drum and seemingly with little regard for his own well-being.

The Alaska native originally rose to some prominence thanks to his mastery of a modified guillotine choke—fondly nicknamed the "McKenzietine"—that earned him 10 of his first 12 professional victories, including a Submission of the Night-worthy win in his UFC debut.

He spent three years in the UFC, going 3-4 during the stint. His tenure ended on a loss to Sam Stout and an embarrassing incident that saw McKenzie wear basketball shorts (tag still on) to the cage when he forgot his own gear in his hotel room. (He was also ratted out pounding booze backstage after the bout.)

In the UFC, McKenzie competed as a lightweight (155 pounds) and a featherweight (145 pounds). Now, according to Thursday's report, the 171-pound welterweight upper limit is proving difficult for him. His first fight post-UFC, by the way, occurred at a catchweight of 180 pounds.

Sure, people give blood all the time. But in a time when the risks of irresponsible weight-cutting are being taken more seriously thanks to high-profile failures on that front, giving blood to make weight would not appear to be neither the most sustainable strategy nor the most positive addition to the MMA health-and-safety discourse. Maybe it's a good thing, then, that most of the MMA community doesn't seem to take Cody McKenzie too seriously. 

The slightly more bloodless McKenzie will compete Friday in Battlegrounds MMA's eight-man, one-night welterweight tournament, going down in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The winner takes home $50,000.