Cody McKenzie file photo: Spike TV


“Ultimate Fighter” Season 12 participant Cody McKenzie will square off against UFC veteran Yves Edwards in a lightweight contest at UFC Fight Night 23, going down at Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas on Jan. 22.

Edwards was originally slated to face Melvin Guillard at the event, but “The Young Assassin” was pulled from the contest to fill in for an injured Kenny Florian against Evan Dunham in the show’s main event.

News of Edwards’ new opponent was first reported by MMAJunkie.com, and Sherdog.com has since confirmed the matchup with sources close to the fight. Neither the Dunham-Guillard nor Edwards-McKenzie bout has been officially announced by the UFC.

McKenzie is fresh off a “Submission of the Night”-winning performance at last weekend's “Ultimate Fighter 12” Finale, where he defeated fellow cast member Aaron Wilkinson with his patented guillotine choke in the first round. The unorthodox Alaskan is perfect in his 12 official pro outings, but was knocked out by semifinalist Nam Phan in the season's quarter-finals. McKenzie owns 11 of his 12 wins by submission, with 10 of those victories coming by way of guillotine choke.

A true veteran of the sport, Edwards made his professional debut in 1997, competing in such early events as the World Pankration Championship and the Bas Rutten Invitational. He made his UFC debut at UFC 33 in 2001, dropping a majority decision to future welterweight champion Matt Serra. The 34-year-old holds notable victories over Kultar Gill, Aaron Riley and Hermes Franca (twice). The “thug-jitsu” innovator has won five of his last six contests, most recently earning a unanimous decision over John Gunderson in Edwards' first UFC fight in four years.

Fight Night 23 will be the UFC’s second “Fight for the Troops” fundraiser, designed to raise money for injured military personnel and their families.

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