Curtis Millender Joins PFL 2021 Tournament, Faces Rory MacDonald on April 29

By: Jay Pettry
Apr 9, 2021

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The Professional Fighters League 2021 season has been shaken up weeks before its kickoff.

On Thursday, David Michaud revealed that he had been diagnosed with a rare heart condition that forced him to withdraw from the 2021 PFL season and possibly cut short his career. The promotion, with its second headliner in jeopardy, acted quickly to replace Michaud, according to MMA Junkie on Friday. Curtis Millender (18-6) will be joining the welterweight bracket against Rory MacDonald (21-6-1), and this news has since been confirmed by the PFL.

Millender will be competing at 170 pounds on short notice, and he and MacDonald are still slated to serve as the main event of PFL 2: 2021 Regular Season on April 29. The entire season will be held at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., while the playoffs do not yet have a venue set. “Curtious Curtis” joins the PFL after splitting a pair of bouts in Bellator MMA in 2020. His return to Bellator came with a victory over Moses Murietta, only to lose a decision to Sabah Homasi in August 2020. Millender rejoined Bellator after his expulsion from the Ultimate Fighting Championship following back-to-back defeats to Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos and Belal Muhammad.

Millender is not the only fighter to replace a tournament participant, as the PFL also announced that featherweight Jason Soares was removed from the tournament after he could not pass medicals. Lazar Stojadinovic (14-7) has been tapped in his stead, where he will look to become the first fighter to beat Movlid Khaybulaev (15-0-1, 1 NC) at PFL 1: 2021 Regular Season on April 23.

Stojadinovic appeared on the first season of Dana White's Contender Series on the heels of an eight-fight win streak, but Thanh Le rebuffed him with a head kick and follow-up punches. Stojadinovic appeared twice in 2020, where he tapped Carlos Guerra and won a decision over Isaac Shelton to lift his win streak to two.

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