Last year the Zuffa organization came to the dilemma that they would no longer be allowed to have lightweight and middleweight divisions in the UFC and WEC. A problem? Maybe, but for new UFC fighter Tim McKenzie (12-5 MMA, 3-3 WEC) this is more like a dream come true and an opportunity he has plans to take full advantage of.
Tuesday night Tim joined hosts Matt De La Rosa and ‘Fast Eddie’ Constantine at THE INFO – the official PRO MMA podcast, to discuss his newly found place in the UFC, his past fights, and future plans.
Tim McKenzie has been fighting mixed martial arts professionaly since November of 2001. He has fought big names such as Akihiro Gono, Doug Marshall, Chael Sonnen, Steve Cantwell, and even his own teammate Scott Smith. Finally after all his hard fought years he gets his shot in the UFC. “Oh, when I found that news out I was so excited, like I couldn’t sit still. I was ready to get in there and start training and find out who my next opponent was going to be,” McKenzie said.
McKenzie is a tough fighter who has fought four of his last seven fights under Zuffa in the WEC. Unfortunatly, McKenzie has been out of action since defeating Jeremy Lang (13-1 MMA, 0-1 WEC) at WEC 34. “Since that time, I was actually suppose to fight last September but uh I got a staph infection and the doctors misdiagnosed it and I had to get surgery on it and I’ve been dealing with that. Slowly but surely getting back into things and finally got an opponent and been ready to get in there and mix it up,” McKenzie said.
Tim is very hungry to get back into the cage and mix it up and is hoping to get into the Octagon more than once this year, “I would like to get in two, three fights before the end of the year. It will probably be within the next couple of months for the next fight so hopefully I can squeeze in three because last year I was only able to get in two. Maybe even four, that would be awesome.”
With no lack of confidence and the willingness to fight multiple times this year, it seems that McKenzie has the heart to work up the UFC’s middleweight ladder. “I see myself going to the top. That’s where everyone else sees themselves going, to the top. It depends on how hard you work and where you work and who you train with. I work with a bunch of great guys, Scott ‘Hands of Pillows’ Smith, James Irvin, and working with a bunch of other people. Brandon Vera is helping me out and it just helps out a lot having great people around you,” McKenzie said.
Even with the confidence at middleweight, there is always the thought of moving down, “If I can get my diet down, which is pretty difficult because I like to eat, um I might be able to make 170…who knows.”
No matter where he fights it seems that the UFC is getting a very fun and exciting fighter. With only one of his twelve victories going to decision it is obvious he will be tough for anyone in the UFC and possibly, a new fan favorite.
To hear this entire interview and all of the free archives go to THE INFO’s homepage at http://theinfo.mypodcast.com. THE INFO is the official podcast of PRO MMA (http://promma.info).
By: Tim Thompson