Fast Eddie sat down with WEC fighter Tim McKenzie and we discussed a variety of topics such as being awarded submission of the night in his last fight, a rematch with Scott Smith, the evolution of the Mohawk, and his new wife and family. Lastly, we talked about the influence of his Father Les, and Steve Heath who have helped to shape his life.
On June 1st, the man they call the Wrecking Machine began his ascent back to a shot at the WEC light heavyweight belt. That is where, in the third round after surviving a near fight ending choke, McKenzie returned the favor by choking out Jeremy Lang. Lang was a late replacement for the staph infected Eric Shambari. Nick took the fight with a mounted guillotine early in the third round. What remained was Lang napping on the blue mat of the WEC cage as result of the choke. The result earned Tim submission of the night honors, along with a well deserved bonus.
Tim credits this win to his recent training with Ganyao from Fairtex, Dean Lister and Tito Ortiz while in Big Bear as well as the Ultimate Training Center for his newly added skills. UTC is the by-product of James Irvin and Scott Smith, and the team which McKenzie is now a member. Smith and Tim actually fought on a previous WEC event which went the way of Smith. Add to the fact the “Tulip comment” Smith jokingly made and McKenzie was eager to express his desire to rematch his current training partner. That will have to wait however, as Tim is scheduled to compete on the September WEC card against the always dangerous TBA.
McKenzie began his career while studying communications at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Ca. His initial training began alongside fellow Stockton alums, the Diaz brothers, and Steve Heath as part of team Cesar Gracie. Heath is who McKenzie attributes his start in the sport to, not to mention the high regard he has for his first trainer. They continue to stay in touch despite the feelings of some of his former teammates – namely, Nick Diaz.
Experiencing the most turbulent time of his life to date, McKenzie made the difficult decision to leave his home and family in the central valley of California and move to Tempe Arizona joining AZ Combat Sports (home of WEC champ Jamie Varner and TUF alumni C.B. Dalloway). The timing upset Diaz, who was scheduled to fight Joe Riggs in the UFC. With Riggs being an Arizona fighter, Diaz felt McKenzie broke a rule and was now working with his opponent. The problem however, is that McKenzie never trained with Riggs. The tension between the two has existed ever since, with Diaz fighting Tim’s roommate Ray Steinbess. After the decision victory which took place in Stockton, Diaz called out McKenzie who also fought and won earlier in the night. Tim McKenzie was also in Steinbess’ corner and gladly accepted the challenge.
With those dark days behind him and his new bride Melissa by his side, McKenzie has returned to his home in Northern California. Don’t be surprised to see Tim at Sunsplash (a Roseville water park) or tubing on the lake to get away from fighting. That is where Tink & Tank (Seriously!), his two small Chorkie’s who round out the family wait eagerly. It is also where his family, his father Les, and closest sponsor’s Chase Chevrolet and Merin Insurance have always been. Tim initially hid the fact from Les that he was competing as fighter for quite a while until he realized this is what he was destined to be. His father Les, set the example of hard work with his landscape company and instilled the idea of a hard days work. Now Les never misses the opportunity to witness his son compete live. So, with his goals set, the blueprint drawn on how to achieve them, Tim McKenzie sets out on the next phase of his life in and out of the cage.
Visit Tim or his sponsors, Merin Insurance, Chase Chevrolet, Warrior wear, Fairtex, Dan Houston Customs, Hydrate 2 O, and Loan Review.
– Fast Eddie attended the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Ca. He is a BJJ instructor in Campbell, Ca, having trained jiu-jitsu since 1996.
– All pictures courtesy of Tim Mckenzie, the WEC and sherdog.com
Stay tuned for my coverage of the Strikeforce weigh-ins, from San Jose this Thursday!