Curtis Millender feels blessed that Bellator gave him a second chance

The Bellator debut did not go according to plan for Curtis Millender in February and he will look to get back on track Friday night when he meets Fernando Gonzalez in a welterweight bout at Bellator 137.

Bellator MMA
Bellator MMA

Millender (7-1) was initially scheduled to meet Michael Page in his Bellator debut. However, an injury pulled Page from the event and former middleweight tournament winner Brennan Ward stepped up to face Millender on short notice.

The fight was stopped in the opening round due to strikes and it was the first career defeat for Millender who feels blessed that Bellator is giving him another chance to showcase his abilities.

“God blessed me with a second chance and Bellator blessed me with a second chance to show them what I have,” Millender told The MMA Report. “They put a tough test in front of me and I believe even with this test when I win, I will be right back in the position where they thought I will be when they gave me the first fight.”

When looking back at the fight against Ward, Millender knows he made multiple mistakes and Ward was able to catch him in one of those mistakes which led to the end of the fight.

“I definitely made a mistake and he actually let me get away with it a couple of times,” he said. “I thought I would be able to get away with it more just because I knew my striking was better than his and he caught me making a mistake.”

On Friday night at Bellator 137, it will be a battle of California based fighters as Millender meets Gonzalez at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California. Gonzalez has won three fights in a row and has shown his striking abilities. He will throw punches in bunches and Millender does not plan to engage in a type of brawl that his opponent may want to start.

“He has the heart of a lion. He comes forward. He mixes up his strikes and he can take a punch. I am very impressed with his gas tank but I am not going to be one of those guys that stand in front of him and just let him punch and brawls with him. He is going to really have to need a big gas tank in this fight.”

Just like every fighter, Millender is confident heading into this fight. How does he expect to win the fight? The method does not seem to matter as long as he walks away with a great performance.

“Knockout, TKO, or just clear dominance in all three rounds,” he said. “I do not mind going all three rounds and just clearly winning all three rounds. Anybody can knock someone out in 30 seconds. When you can dominant somebody and impose your will the whole fight, that is what is being great.”