'Wrecking Machine' collides with 'A-Train'
Story by Andreas Hale
When Tim “The Wrecking Machine” Mckenzie steps into UFC’s Octagon for the first time at Fight Night on April 1st, he’ll have to not only overcome the bright lights of the big stage, but he’ll also have to get over the hump of fighting a good friend and former training partner. Mckenzie (12-5 ) has the opportunity of a lifetime to prove himself when he takes on Aaron “A-Train” Simpson for his first UFC fight – just don’t expect for Mckenzie to take it easy on his friend.
“It’s been so long that I’ve wanted this and I’m not going to give it back easily,” he says.
The two last trained together back in 2007. Since then, Mckenzie has had his ups and downs with heartbreaking losses to Chael Sonnen and Steve Cantwell and victories against Jeremy Lang and Yuichi Nakanishi.
Simpson has amassed an undefeated MMA record since beginning his career in 2007 at 4-0. But Mckenzie is ready to dissolve Simpson’s ‘O’ at the Sommet Center in Tennessee.
“It feels amazing!” Mckenzie says of finally getting the opportunity to showcase his skills against Simpson in the UFC. “I’m super excited to finally make it to the big show. It’s been a long time coming.”
They don’t call him “The Wrecking Machine” for nothing; Mckenzie has been known to storm his opponents with a whirlwind of strikes and display an exhilarating ground and pound game.
Ask Bill Mahood about Mckenzie’s prowess in the MMA. “The Wrecking Machine” completely wrecked Mahood in six seconds with a bevy of strikes that sent him face first to the canvas.
Or ask Doug Marshall, who Mckenzie clobbered from pillar to post back in 2005 and exhibited a vicious display of ground and pound that left Marshall bloodied and battered in a matter of minutes.
For Simpson, expect nothing less.
“Lots of fireworks,” he says. “Guns a blazin’ and watch out for the striking and the ground fighting.”
When asked if he believes he has a distinct advantage against Simpson, Mckenzie dismisses the notion.
“It’s like we both know our strengths and weaknesses and now we’re going to see who’s improved the most since the last time we trained.”
“Usually I don’t have any built up tension against my opponent,” he continues when explaining how he is gearing up mentally for this fight. “It’s going to be interesting as I try to build up the tension for this fight, but I think it will be alright once the bell rings.”
But whatever the outcome, there will be no animosity between the two.
“We’ll go out and have a drink afterwards.”