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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Shootout in the Cage: Utah’s SHOWDOWN Fights Sets the Stage for Top-Level Talent



“SHOWDOWN is the top promotion in Utah, so being the main event is pretty cool.  I’m coming back to Utah for this matchup with Tim.  I need fights with well-known guys, and Tim has that.”  Smith recounts

Tim McKenzie definitely has earned his name in MMA.  He has traveled the globe throughout his 10+ year career that has seen stints with the UFC, WEC, Bodog and Pancrase.  The Wrecking Machine has done damage on several continents and after having moderate success in those organizations, McKenzie is focused on doing what is necessary to return to the roster spot he once held. He has now situated himself and his training in Northern California, a mecca for MMA.  He splits his time between San Francisco and the world famous Fairtex gym and Stockton, two hotbed areas which are home to several world champions.  “I’ve got to the UFC…I want to get back there.  I want to go out on top and I don’t plan on going out any time soon.  I have quite a few fights left in me.  I’m going to fight until I can’t fight anymore.  I’m only 28 years old.”

McKenzie believes SHOWDOWN Fights is also the right platform for him to pick up steam.  “In 2011 we’re open.  If they [SHOWDOWN] want me to come back that would be great.  I’d love to have a home there.  SHOWDOWN is a great organization.  I’ve fought for Scott Adams in the past, he’s a great guy, knows what he’s doing, and I look forward to working with him again.”

McKenzie realizes the environment he will walk into on April 16 will not be a friendly one.   “He’s the local guy, so that means I’m going to have to beat him everywhere the fight goes.  He’s the hometown hero and I’m going to beat the hometown hero.  It will be a battle of attrition and one that I will win.  To get where I need to be, I have to get a couple wins in a row and right now, Jordan is one of my obstacles.” 

Jordan Smith is more than an obstacle.  A former 7th grade science teacher, Smith retired from that profession last year so he could focus full-time on his MMA career.  Now Smith is  represented by Tough Media Inc.,  the management side of the world famous Black House family which also represents such fighters as UFC Champions Anderson Silva and Jose Aldo, former UFC champion Lyoto Machida, #1 UFC Contender Junior Dos Santos the Nogueira brothers and several others.  As one of the fastest rising young stars in the sport, Smith trains with a goldmine of talent. 

Beaming with confidence, Smith explained, “The training sessions at Black House are ridiculous.  When you’re used to getting punched by Anderson Silva or kicked in the head by Lyoto Machida there’s not much out there that scares you.  My standup is definitely my strongest point.  There is nothing that Tim McKenzie is going to be able to do standup-wise to me except catch my punches.” 

But a standup war is exactly what McKenzie wants too.  “I’m excited about the matchup.  He likes to stand and bang as do I and that makes for an exciting fight.  I only like to put on entertaining fights and this one looks to be an amazing fight.  I’m here to cash checks and break necks.”

Both men exude an overwhelming confidence in their abilities also observed by their flashy nicknames.  “The Wrecking Machine” is pretty self-explanatory and creates a visual image that is crystal clear.  But unless you are fluent in Portuguese, “Mata Ele” is a bit more mysterious.  Smith explains “I got the nickname from one of my trainers, Aldo Oreggia.  It means ‘Kill him’ in Portuguese.  It’s started as a war cry that Brazilians say before going into battle and it turned into my nickname when I had a few fights and went with a balls to the wall fighting style.”  That style of fighting helped Smith win “Fight of the Night” in his last showing in Brazil with Bitetti Combat, where he was the only American on the card.

Along with a great night of fights, the production quality of SHOWDOWN Fights is sure to add to its ongoing value in the MMA marketplace.  Very few regional promotions have the ability to offer the type of attraction that SHOWDOWN gives to the fans.  With Shootout streaming live on GFL.tv it will provide an excellent setting for the fighters to showcase their abilities to a wider audience and it’s one of the few things both McKenzie and Smith agree on.

“That’s a great promotion for not only us the fighters but also the fans to be able to have access to the fights on the Internet,” said McKenzie 

“I think it’s great to have Internet pay-per-views.  Putting fights on the web and having that outlet for fans to watch online is great for the sport.  We can get more sponsorship money and so can the promoters, which helps sell the sport,” explained Smith.

It is yet to be decided who will take the next step forward in their career.  That will be resolved in the cage.  Make no mistake; Tim McKenzie VS Jordan Smith has all the credibility of a matchup that could be on any promotions’ fight card, including a UFC card.  The fans in Orem, UT and on GFL.tv are in for a treat with a highly competitive night of fights and an outstanding main event, when SHOWDOWN Fights Presents Shootout on April 16.

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