Chad “Money” Mendes (11-1-0) vs. Cody Mckenzie (13-2-0)
Chad Mendes looks to make a return to the win column after suffering his first loss at the hands of current champion Jose Aldo. Mckenzie on the other hand makes the drop to featherweight after struggling at lightweight. This fight is a little odd since a win over Mendes would rocket someone to the top of the division, but for Cody that would be his first win in a new weight class which would not likely have the same effect.
Chad Mendes marched his way to the title by going 11-0, which included six straight wins in zuffa organizations. Then he was knocked out cold with seconds remaining in his title fight against Jose Aldo. Mendes’ strength obviously comes from his wrestling base. Coming from Team Alpha Male, headed by Uriah Faber, you can expect that Chad comes in in shape and well rounded. Mendes will give up considerable reach, and even if he is the better stand up fighter he may still go to the ground. There he will need to look out for Cody’s patented guillotine choke.
Cody Mckenzie is not necessarily a one trick pony, but he is damn good at one thing, the guillotine choke. Literally all but one of his 13 wins have come by the choke, and the other win was a stoppage. His first two losses came in the octagon, and both of them came by submission specifically a rear naked choke. That is when the Washington native trekked down to Stockton California to train with the Diaz brothers. There he has been trying to close up the holes in his game. If he is able to implement the patented Diaz striking with the advantage in reach he has, he could frustrate Mendes.
The Bottom Line: Chad is coming off a loss, and it is hard to see how that affects a fighter. Cody on the other hand has already recovered from his first loss, and revamped his training because of it. Cody will take this by decision.