In the lead-up to the clash, here are five things that you might
not know about the man they call “Curtious.”
He grew up in a rough neighbourhood.
Millender has by all accounts always been a well-mannered
individual intent on avoiding trouble. Despite this, he faced
considerable adversity growing up in San Bernardino, California.
His high school was infiltrated by gangs who looked to recruit
members from the establishment’s ranks. In one interview, the 31
year-old said, “We had probably three or four people get shot and
killed that went to school with us from my freshman year to senior
Post high school, Millender has narrowly avoided being the victim
of crime on two occasions -- when he outed an attempted burglary at
his then apartment, and an attempt to ransack his parked car.
He more often than not wins by decision.
Of Millender’s 17 professional victories to date, 11 (65 percent)
have come by way of decision. When the 31 year-old is not forcing
his opponent to engage in a losing war of attrition, he gets the
job done by knockout. The California native’s impressive resume
boasts 6 KO/TKO wins.
He has not lost in nearly three-and-a-half years.
Back in 2015, Millender was a fighter facing adversity. That year
he lost three out of four fights. However, the bad run proved to be
a mere bump in the road: Millender has not tasted defeat since. His
remarkable winning streak has seen him emerge victorious from nine
consecutive bouts. The most recent three have been under the
umbrella of the UFC.
He has been a champion before.
“Curtious” turned professional with his home state promotion Fight
Club OC back in 2013. He fought his first seven contests with the
organization: emerging triumphant from all seven. In June 2013, in
his sixth Fight Club OC bout, Millender claimed the vacant
welterweight belt by besting Dominic
Waters by split decision after three rounds. He would go on to
defend his title one time. In June 2016, in his sophomore
appearance with the Lights Out promotion, Millender won their
welterweight title. Two months later, in August 2016, he returned
to his original employer, Fight Club OC, to win their welterweight
crown for a second time.
He places great confidence in his striking.
Millender stated in a recent interview that the only strikers at
170 who are of a comparable standard to him are Darren Till
Thompson. Millender’s trust in his stand-up ability is
understandable in the context of his UFC debut; a second round TKO
via a left knee to the chin of knock-out artist Thiago Alves
at UFC Fight Night 126, in February of last year. The emphatic
victory saw “Curtious” claim Performance of the Night honors. The
avid Mayweather fan has developed a cerebral style based around
effective counter-striking and utilizing his impressive 78-inch
reach to avoid taking punishment. The CSW team member hones his
striking skills along with the other facets of the MMA game under
the tutelage of revered coach Erik Paulson.