Following back to back losses in 2019, welterweight Curtis Millender was looking to get back on track when he faced Moses Murrietta at Bellator 238 in January.
Not only was Millender able to get back in the win column with a unanimous decision over Murrietta, but he was able to showcase more of his overall game, which he feels is the biggest takeaway from the victory.
“It was probably one of my better performances, because I got to show that I’m not just the striker everyone thinks I am,” Millender told MMAWeekly.com.
“I was able to get takedowns, go for submissions, and was able to show my downtime from last April (of 2019) up until January I made good use of it. I’m not just a striker. I can do everything. I can do what I want.”
While he wanted to keep things rolling following the win over Murrietta, Millender was forced to slow things down with the rest of the world during the novel coronavirus lockdown. Still, he was able to use the time productively and further balance his fight game.
“I would stay positive, but it was definitely frustrating,” said Millender. “I did a lot of studying, not only myself, but other fighters I could learn from. I took the time to prepare for fights mentally, somewhat physically, without putting stress on my body.
“I see (growth) every day. I’ve always had a skillset when it comes to being on the ground, but I never really chased it like I chased the striking; like I put all the eggs into striking, but now I’m going everywhere with it.”
On Friday in Uncasville, Conn., Millender (18-5) will look to build a winning streak when he faces Sabah Homasi (13-8) in a Bellator 243 main card 175-pound catchweight bout.
“With the style of fighter I am I know that everybody has the same game plan: they’re going to want to take me down,” Millender said. “Even if they’re a striker they want to take me down. They want to see what I can do on the ground. But now the tables are turned.
“I’m comfortable being on my back, being on top, wherever I am on the ground. I really see this fight going wherever the opportunity he gives me (leads me). Eventually it will give me the opportunity to finish him. Whether it’s a choke or taking him out with a kick or a punch it’s going to happen.”
Following a lack of activity over the past year, Millender would like to close out 2020 as actively as possible.
“There’s always a goal written down, always in my head, and I’m always going to have a goal until it can’t happen,” said Millender. “I want to get two fights in and get a big contract somewhere. My services are open to the highest bidder.”