Having been a couple years since he picked up a win in MMA, having gotten a second round TKO of Salaiman Ahmadyar at UNF 4 this past January was a big thing for middleweight Curtis Millender.
In particular, the win was a huge boom to Millender’s mental state going into what he’s labeled his final year in MMA.
“It was a great fight and I really needed that as far as the confidence goes,” Millender told MMAWeekly.com. “I needed that high of getting a win. It’s been a while since I got a win. I worked very hard during the camp.
“I had made a decision to retire at the end of this year in December, so the goals that I’ve set for myself are very high goals but are realistic goals. Just to know and have the confidence that I’m on the right track and continue to build moment with that win makes it all that much better.”
With nearly 30 fights to his credit and 10 years in MMA, Millender knows what his game is, and as such by now it’s just continuing to hone those things he’s good at rather than trying to rebuild his game from scratch if he runs into trouble.
“It’s the same mindset to being the absolute best that I can,” said Millender. “I’m older now, I’m a veteran and a student of the game and learning the things I need to do and finding other ways to use my attributes instead of relying just on my speed. I’m very good at setting people up for things and making them fall into traps.
“I’ve definitely replaced getting older with things that still keep me able to compete at a high level in this game.”
For the first fight of his retirement tour, Millender (19-9) will face KB Bhullar (11-4) in a rematch of their 2022 bout in a main card 185-pound bout at Unified MMA 50 on March 31 in Enoch, Alberta, Canada.
“I feel like this is an easy win for me,” Millender said. “I’ve felt like what (Bhullar) feels like in the cage, watching back the few exchanges we did have, I can definitely do what I want to him.
“He can’t fight me, my style. He’s a striker, I’m a striker, but I’m definitely the better striker, the cleaner striker, the more talented guy when it comes to stand-up. I don’t think he has the skillset to out-rank me.”
If this is truly Millender’s final year in MMA, he’s got his path planned out and intends on finishing his career with a bang.
“I have all of the fights lined up for the most part,” said Millender. “I have the schedule. I want to get in there, have these fights, make them look easy, get out of the unhurt so I can go onto the next show.
“I plan on fighting at least three or four more times after this one. I’ve got to go, and I’ve said it, and I’m going to accomplish it.”