Fans of The Ultimate Fighter haven’t seen much of Cody McKenzie in the Octagon, but what little they have seen has been very impressive.
The Alaska native’s two fights on The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck have lasted just over two and a half minutes combined, but that’s been plenty of time for him to show fans across the country what he does best. In the elimination fight, McKenzie submitted Amir Khillah with his variation of the guillotine choke, and when Team Koscheck targeted him with top pick Marc Stevens on this week’s episode, McKenzie—the sixth pick of UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre—took just 18 seconds to choke out the former University of Buffalo wrestler.
The master of the “McKenzietine” took time this week to talk to UltimateFighter.com and Bleacher Report.
With the way the fights had been going, and the way Georges was letting the guys pick their own opponents, Michael Johnson chose Team Koscheck’s second-to-last pick and Alex Caceres chose their last pick. Here you are as the sixth pick, are you thinking, “What are you guys leaving me with?”
No, I wanted it like that. I wanted them [Team Koscheck] to pick me. I’m going to fight whoever and I want to fight whoever.
With the way things had been going between you and Josh, did you have a feeling they were going to be coming right after you once they got control of fight selection?
I figured that. We didn’t see eye to eye.
How exactly did that get started between you and Josh? Did you start it? Did he start it?
I think I made a remark in the locker room, joking around, and he took it all personally, and it all built from there, the first time we met. I never really liked AKA that much as a gym. I went down there once, and they charged me to get in, and made a big deal about me going to a pro practice when I wasn’t a pro. I didn’t really like that gym, and I never really liked Koscheck, watching him as a fighter. I knew right when we met we weren’t going to like each other.
So you were hoping not to land on his team, I take it.
Actually, truthfully, it didn’t matter which team I went on.
On the show, the AKA guys kept telling Marc Stevens, warned him and warned him and warned him about getting caught in a guillotine, and it still happened anyway. Did it surprise you, when you found out how much they drilled it into his head not to get caught, that you were able to hook him so quickly?
No, because a lot of the guys I’ve fought lately have known about my guillotine. They look up my record, see how many I have, so I figured they were drilling it, but it wasn’t much of a fight once I got him.
Now, the way Dana White broke it down in the fight recap, he seemed to think that you running in the way that you did at the beginning of the fight—and Georges said it to—as soon as you came in with that one punch and the kick, that threw him off and got Stevens to go for the takedown. Was that how you had envisioned setting it up?
No, not at all. I envisioned us going in there and just banging it out, and having a real good fight, an absolute war. I was ready for a real battle, but it turned out not to be.
People have seen two fights from you on the show: this one and the elimination fight. They see you get taken down, you get the guillotine on, and it’s over. Do you think people are starting to see you as a bit of a one-trick pony?
Yeah, a lot of people think that. A lot of people have thought that for a while. I’ve developed my skills more, but that’s my finishing move.
Yeah, it’s funny. You don’t really hear that so much with guys in MMA where they name a finishing move after themselves. It’s almost like a pro-wrestler-type thing.
Yeah, I’ve said I want to patent it. I just snuck my last name in there because I’ve done it so many times.
Now, what was the discovery process like for you with the move, seeing how well you did that and realizing that was going to be the hold that would win you so many fights?
I don’t know, it just kind of grew naturally. Since I’ve gotten to a higher level, I’ve refined it, going with better guys, but it’s always just been natural.
The two guys we’ve seen you put the hold on on the show both passed out before they had a chance to tap. Is that usually how it goes, or is it more or less 50/50, some tap, some go out?
Lately, more guys have gone to sleep, because I’m sinking it faster. When I first used to put it in, I’d put it in a little lighter, know that I have it, but not put them to sleep right away. I had to find the right angle to apply pressure to both arteries. Lately, they’ve gone to sleep more, but they’d tap when I put it on slower back in the day.
We didn’t really see you as much when Josh was at the house giving the guys a hard time with his team
Yeah, I was asleep, but they told me about it.
How much sweeter did that make it when you were able get control back for Team GSP as quickly as you did?
It definitely tore them up inside. They didn’t like that so much.
I wrote in the episode recap that you accomplished a very rare feat there: you left Josh Koscheck speechless.
[laughs] I agree.