The Prelim Breakout Star is a once per event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention to the most talented fighter on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.
One of the best cards in recent history actually made it hard to pick a fighter for this event. So many fights are razor close and so many fighters on this card have already been featured on this segment. Never fear, there is one who hasn’t that we like here.
Nickname – Curteous
Affiliation – NOC Fight Team
From – Anaheim, California
Height – 6’2″
Weight – 170 lbs (Welterweight)
Record – 15-3 (1-0 UFC)
What makes him impressive
This is the kind of guy you don’t want to find yourself in the clinch with. Millender has an exceptional ability to make fighters pay for getting inside of his long reach. His knees work the body better than most in his division and he has legit KO power with his hands, knees and elbows in short range. This is especially a tough puzzle for his opponents to solve as the best chance you have against him comes from getting inside.
Why he has been overlooked
In a stint in Bellator, Millender lost two in a row to solid grapplers who forced him to grapple with them. Fernando Gonzalez and Brennan Ward both got him into grappling exchanges and finished him with submissions. Since then, he seems to have fixed that deficiency as he has rarely been to the ground.
What makes this a good match-up
Max Griffin isn’t the type of fighter who is going to try to drag Millender to the ground. This means this fight will largely take place where Millender wants it to, and while it also is where Griffin would like, his stand up style doesn’t play well in this fight. Griffin is used to being able to pick apart his opponents from distance (it’s how he beat Mike Perry fairly easily). However, it is one of the few times he’ll be the shorter and less long opponent, which could force him to get in some clinches with Millender.
Prelim Breakout Star Record: 145-64-1 (2 NC) (6 DNF)