Written By Bryan Levick
The UFC 148 card is stacked as it stands today with the rematch between Anderson Siva and Chael Sonnen as well as Tito Ortiz’s last fight when he meets Forrest Griffin for the third time. It’s an awesome card and Mendes is grateful to be part of it.
I am super excited to be part of such a great card,” said Mendes in an interview with MMAConvert. “Whether I’m fighting on the television portion or the undercard it’s something that is going to be super cool to be part of. I was actually lucky enough to be part of the one and only WEC PPV that took place in Sacramento and that was a lot of fun and something I am so proud of. Everyone is obviously looking forward to the main event and watching Tito’s last fight. It’s going to go down in UFC history and I feel very lucky to be part of it.
His opponent, Cody McKenzie, may not be highly ranked in the featherweight division, but he is very dangerous with his submissions having won 12 of his 13 victories by way of tapout. At 2-2 in the UFC McKenzie will be looking to do whatever it takes to stay above .500 rather than drop below it. Mendes knows better than to take anyone lightly and in fact knows McKenzie fairly well.
Cody’s actually come down and trained with us before,” said the 11-1 Hanford, CA native. “I’ve actually done some sparring with him before, but it was limited to strictly boxing. The best way to describe his style is funky. He’s really tall, gangly and long on top of that he’s a southpaw. He’s got some crazy submissions that he can pull from all over the place. My biggest advantage is my wrestling, but I feel like I am a better athlete, he’s not very athletic. In this camp we are focusing on guillotine defense because he’s got a very good Guillotine Choke. To be honest this is a fight that kind of sucks. I don’t have a lot to gain, but there’s a lot for me to lose in this fight. If I win I’m supposed to beat him and if I lose then people are going to ask what happened. I’m training for this fight the same way I did for Aldo. I’m taking this very serious and I know I really need the win. I will never underestimate anyone; I learned that lesson a long time ago. I’m gonna go in there and do what I do best.
Fans can catch Mendes-McKenzie on the FX-bound portion of UFC 148. The broadcast begins at 7 PM ET.
Photo credit: Sherdog