Cody McKenzie will move to the featherweight division to take on former title challenger Chad Mendes at UFC 148, promotion officials announced Friday.
The event takes place July 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be headlined by a long-anticipated middleweight title rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. Also featured will be an interim bantamweight title collision pitting former WEC featherweight king Urijah Faber against a to-be-named foe.
Known for his patented variation on the guillotine choke, McKenzie introduced himself to UFC fans as a lightweight during his stint on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 12, submitting cast mate Aaron Wilkinson with his favorite maneuver at the live season finale in 2010. Though back-to-back losses would follow for the native Alaskan, he rebounded in his most recent outing, finishing Marcus LeVesseur with a guillotine just days ago at UFC on Fuel TV 3.
Despite falling by knockout to champion Jose Aldo in his last Octagon appearance, Mendes is still regarded by most as one of the division’s top talents. Prior to his Jan. 14 defeat to “Scarface,” the Team Alpha Male representative had never been bested as a pro, racking up notable career wins over Erik Koch, Cub Swanson, Javier Vazquez and Michihiro Omigawa, among others. Known for his powerful frame and wrestling expertise, “Money” has earned seven of his 11 career wins via decision.