Posts Tagged ‘Douglas Lima’

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By: Jonathan King The Clinch Report

Since Scott Coker has taken over Bellator MMA has survived a lame-duck transitional period of uncertainty only to emerge in a more tenable situation than ever before. The new regime has not only updated the drab promotional image by polishing the broadcast with elaborate entrances, but they have also updated an antiquated roster as well. Coker and has team have signed a diverse group of veteran fighters with name recognition to go along with some of the sports top prospects. The move ensures the future, while staying current with relevant big name fighters headlining televised events.

Two of those prospects are Michael Page (7-0 MMA 3-0 Bellator MMA) and Curtis Millender (7-0 MMA Bellator MMA Debut) who are set to square off in January as part of the promotions series of fights titled ‘The British Invasion’. Page has been highly touted as one of the best young fighters in the welterweight division, while Millender has remained under the radar for the most part. A trend the man they call ‘Courteous Curtis’ plans to reverse with an explosive debut.

In Page, Millender finds his toughest opponent too date. Essentially he will be fighting his mirror image. Both fighters are exactly the same size, at 6’3 they tower over the rest of the division, and both are known for their electric striking. However if the fight were to find its way to the ground, Millender would be comfortable as well. “Let’s just say I am more than comfortable on the ground, and if it does end up there, he is in trouble!”, Millender said.

The fight will be Millender’s first bout outside of the confines of ‘The OC Fight Club Hangar’, a place he has called home for all of his 7 professional fights. A trend that is a direct result of his ability. Once promoter Roy Englebrecht and manager Mel Valenzuela saw ‘Curtious’ in action they knew they had discovered a gem. They locked him up to a contract and then they realized Millender’s main problem. No one wanted to fight him!

Much like Pat Cummins who also trains at Reign MMA, Millender presents a nightmare for most fighters to match up against. His reach and striking prowess make him almost impossible to hit, and even harder to avoid! With opponents heading for the hills, Englebrecht and Valenzuela had to fly in opponents with well known pedigrees to test Millender. The only problem was, he walked through them too!

So now here we are set to witness two of the sports best young welterweights fight each other in the Bellator MMA cage. Even though Millender predicts a victory, he realizes he may see Page again, as this may be an emerging rivalry. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I have to beat him again!”, Millender said. However he doesn’t see a need for a third! “We are both young and I could see myself having to beat him again, but I don’t think a third time will be necessary!”

The problem facing a prospect is that at some point he has to shed that moniker in order to take on that of a contender. For Millender this journey started long ago. The countless hours of preparation are starting to pay off. However the hard work is just beginning. Although Bellator MMA currently only has 23 current welterweights on the roster, the depth of talent makes it one of the toughest divisions in the promotion. With current champion Douglas Lima scheduled to fight British slugger Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley, the winner of this bout could find himself on a short list of contenders for the 170 lbs title.

Curtis Millender (7-0 MMA) is signed to Bellator MMA and  is represented by Mel Valenzuela. Millender would like to thank his family, and friends, and coaches for supporting his career, but especially wants to thank anyone who “ever gave [him] a ride to the gym”. He would also like to personally recognize Roy Englebrecht and his manager Mel for supporting his efforts.

Curtis Millender is currently sponsored by: Everlast,  Via Diamond Termite, Nu Image Marketing, Kolor Splash of Anaheim, and JP 23 BBQ , and Grand Casino Bakery of Culver City.

Millender trains out of UFC Gym Fullerton and Reign Training Center

Battle tested, champion approved!

Battle tested, champion approved!

By: Jonathan M. King The Clinch Report

Photos By: John Walsh The Clinch Report

A new day in Bellator MMA has dawned, and the cracking sun shines on a new undisputed champion. The second Eddie Alvarez was released, Will Brooks became the promotions 155 lbs torch bearer. His first title defense is pretty obvious. Michael Chandler will most likely get the first shot at the newly minted undisputed champion. After losing a controversial decision to Brooks, it appeared that a unification bout with Alvarez put Chandler in limbo. It didn’t seem right for him to have to go through another tournament though. Thankfully now he won’t have to!

The Alvarez release makes sense for Bellator MMA. It allows the company to build with fighters that intend on being there for a while. Once the promotions and Alvarez engaged legally, the relationship was fractured. After signing an offer sheet with the UFC, Bellator under Bjorn Rebney exercised their matching rights, and claimed they matched the offer, and a nasty battle outside the cage ensued.

The parting also makes sense for Alvarez who has for years been at the top of the divisional rankings, without having to step foot in the octagon. Alvarez now has the opportunity test himself against the best 155 lbs fighters in the world. His first fight will be against Donald Cerrone at UFC 178. It will be Alvarez’s first fight since defeating Chandler nearly 10 months ago.

Now that Alvarez has moved on and with Scott Coker at the helm, the promotion can finally cut its own path, again! With Coker’s pedigree in MMA and with his new team of matchmakers it seems their only hurdle is the companies past transgressions. However with a group of solid young fighters that includes Chandler, Brooks, 205 lbs contender Liam McGeary, 170 lbs title holder Douglas Lima, 145 lbs champion Pat Curran, Daniel Straus and many others a bright future maybe only be a few roster tweaks away.

With Coker looking to book more big name fights, the Bellator PPV dream may once again become a viable option.

Odd Man Out: Ben Askren ‘Bad timing’

When Ben Askren was released CEO Bjorn Rebney based the decision on Askren’s “one dimensional’ style. Even though he was undefeated and the 170 lbs champion, he was cast aside. Happily Askren accepted the release, expecting his entrance into the UFC. However, Dana White had no intention in legitimizing the Bellator promotion by allowing Askren to continue his domination. So,he was told to sign elsewhere.

Now with One FC, Askren remains undefeated and is slowly becoming the poster child for the dominant Asian promotion.

Now that the regime has changed. It appears tensions have as well. Yes, Alvarez is more exciting to watch, but if the UFC claims to have the best fighters in the world, then you have to include the undefeated Askren. Especially when you consider the UFC even signed Jay Hieron following his loss to Askren.

Maybe Askren wanted too much money, or guarantees the UFC couldn’t grant. However with Alvarez being swallowed up right away, its begs the question. Why Alvarez and not Askren?