An intriguing welterweight clash opens up the Fox Sports 1 Prelims of UFC 226 this weekend.
Well rounded Curtis Millender faces the powerful California native Max ‘Pain’ Griffin, with both men looking to firmly establish themselves as potential contenders at 170lbs.
Fellow Cali born Millender, made his premier Octagon walk in February of this year bringing along an impressive 14-3 record into his difficult clash with former welterweight title hopeful Thiago ‘Pitbull’ Alves. Earning a Performance Of The Night bonus, Millender starched Alves in the second round with a beautifully time knee, extending his win streak to an impressive 7 fights.
Ending his three fight high in Texas based promotion Legacy Fighting Alliance with a comfortable decision victory and two consecutive head kick finishes over first, Matthew Frincu and then Nick Barnes, ‘Curtious’ Curtis certainly placed himself on the radar ahead of his UFC debut.
Saturday’s opponent Max Griffin, picked up a real scalp in his last outing, earning a close decision victory over the brash and highly popular ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry, who also features in the Prelim section of UFC 226.
Currently 2-2 in the promotion since his move from West Coast Fighting Championships, Griffin made his bow against now Interim 170lbs gold holder Colby Covington, losing via strikes to the ATT product.
A pairing with Erick Montaño awaited Max ‘Pain’ next, where he claimed his premier UFC win in the form of an early first round knockout.
Griffin earned his first Fight Of The Night honours in a three round back and forth with Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos, with the capoeira expert living up to his nickname as he picked up a decision win, the third straight victory of a current four fight win streak.
In my opinion, Millender is the more well rounded of the pairing in terms of natural striking ability and has showed a dangerous kicking game in his early career, but on the other hand, Max Griffin is the more explosive of the two.
Max Griffin via knockout.