UFC on Fox 9: "Johnson vs. Benavidez 2" was a rough night for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight Cody McKenzie. Not only did he lose a one-sided decision to Sam Stout during the Fox Sports 1 'prelims' but he showed up to the Octagon at the Sleep Train Arena with only one cornerman.
The lowlight; however, was that McKenzie forgot to take the tag off the shorts before he entered the Octagon. In fact, it was only midway through the first round that referee Herb Dean noticed this oversight and pulled the tag from McKenzie's shorts.
While it would be easy to place the brunt of the blame on McKenzie's shoulders, UFC President Dana White said at the post-fight press conference that at the end of the day, this embarrassing moment falls on the promotion.
"Yeah how did ya like that one? That was fantastic right? What that was was UFC amateur hour. We have a guy backstage that polices all the things, when you got a guy going out there...first of all, if it's not bad enough that he's out there with basketball shorts on, how about that he's still got the price tag on the shorts during the fight! Yeah, so it was pretty embarrassing."
White went on to explain the McKenzie situation at length and said that what made it worse is that McKenzie was able to enter the cage without his proper fight shorts or banner for an event on Fox.
"That's one of the weirdest things I've ever seen, and it's even weirder that we let it happen."
"Maybe he was going to fight in his jeans and said 'well, maybe I should get some shorts. I don't know. Cody McKenzie's a strange dude. But it's not Cody McKenzie's fault that happened tonight, it's the UFC's fault. We're here for a show on Fox, and it's pretty damn embarrassing. Pretty embarrassing. I could not be more embarrassed by this. I don't even know what to say. We're stupid. I was pissed."
There was also a report that McKenzie forgot a mouthpiece, but that hasn't been verified. What has been confirmed by Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports is that according to the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) director, the reason for the white basketball shorts was because McKenzie forgot his approved shorts at the fighter hotel.
However, there are also unconfirmed rumors that UFC officials denied his sponsors at the last moment and he was forced to find a new pair of shorts so that the fight wouldn't get delayed. He used a sharpie market to write 907 on the thigh, the area code for the entire state of Alaska.
Apparently he didn't want to keep the shorts as a reminder, as he left them in the bowles of the arena immediately after the fight.
It got worse for McKenzie after the fight. Adam Hill from the Las Vegas Review Journal provided updates throughout the night and they were eerily similar to a description to a down on his luck adult who is struggling to keep his life together after a night on the town.
Only got worse for Cody after fight. He downed a couple shots and then had two beers, but kinda spit one up on himself in tunnel below arena— Adam Hill (@AdamHillLVRJ) December 14, 2013
(cont.) then tried to take beer outside to have a smoke, but wasn't allowed. Said it was probably for the best as he dribbled blood all over— Adam Hill (@AdamHillLVRJ) December 14, 2013
McKenzie is now 3-4 in the UFC. No word yet on his promotional future.