“Where can I get a pair of Cody McKenzie’s “907” Nike fight shorts that he wore Saturday against Sam Stout at UFC on FOX 9,” asked nobody.
Many on press row were baffled McKenzie donned the all-white Nike trunks. Not only because Nike wouldn’t sponsor an average, little-known mixed martial artist, but that McKenzie also personalized them by handwriting “907” above the globally-recognized Swoosh.
Oh, and the awesomeness didn’t stop there. The shorts had pockets, which apparently isn’t illegal as long as there are no zippers, and the biggest knee-slapper of all, McKenzie forgot to take the price tag off of them. Referee Herb Dean had to rip the labels off after spotting them.
Needless to say, UFC president Dana White was pissed McKenzie was donning basketball shorts on primetime television. Oddly, White didn’t blame McKenzie for the blunder, he fingered his own promotion.
“Yeah, how’d you like that one? That was fantastic, right?” White sarcastically asked at the post-fight press conference. “What that was, that was UFC amateur hour. We have a guy backstage who polices all the things, you know, when you got a guy going out there.
“First of all, if it’s not bad enough that he’s going out there with basketball shorts on, how about he’s got the price tag still on the shorts during the fight? Yeah, it was pretty embarrassing. I don’t know. That’s one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen, and it’s even weirder that we let it happen.”
Andy Foster from the California State Athletic Commission told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports that McKenzie forgot his original shorts in his hotel room. His team had to run to the store across the street from Sleep Train Arena to pick up an emergency pair or risk delaying the fight.
Given FOX’s tight schedule, that would have been out of the question. However, White was clearly upset with the finished product.
“Maybe he was going to fight in his jeans and said, ‘Maybe I should get some shorts.’ I don’t know, man. Cody McKenzie is a strange dude, but it’s not Cody McKenzie’s fault that that happened tonight. That’s the UFC’s fault. Not to mention we’re here for a show on FOX and it’s pretty damn embarrassing.
“Well, this is the first time something like this has happened. Like I said, I could not be more embarrassed by this than I am. It’s very, very embarrassing and very amateur. I don’t even know what to say. Yeah, we’re stupid. Yeah, I was pissed.”
McKenzie wound up dropping a landslide unanimous decision to Stout. So that means his one-of-a-kind shorts were on national TV for 15 whole minutes! Furthermore, in addition to losing the fight, McKenzie likely lost out on the money he was set to receive from the sponsors plastered on the trunks he forgot in his hotel room.