Highlights: Debuting UFC Fighter Celebrates Prematurely, Scores Huge KO Anyway

Photo: Jerome Miron for USA TODAY Sports

After two straight head kick wins in LFA, touted welterweight prospect Curtis Millender was thrown straight into the fire in his UFC debut when he met former title challenger Thiago Alves on the main card of tonight’s (Sun. Feb. 18, 2018) UFC Fight Night 126 from Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

From the outset, the taller and rangier Millender seemed to present a puzzle that the much more experienced ‘Pitbull’ could not solve, keeping the stockier Brazilian at range with a laser-like jab and forcing him to overextend on his shots. Millender was clearly confident in his abilities, but perhaps too much so when he rocked Alves badly with a massive first-round uppercut before celebrating prematurely and allowing the veteran to survive. Check it out here:

The debut mistake let Alves wether the storm and shake of the cobwebs in the second round, a frame Alves actually may have been ahead on as he pressed forward with his trademark low kicks and some solid punches upstairs.

That all changed, however, when Millender redeemed himself with an absolutely brutal knee that hit Alves on the button, drpping him and causing the referee to stop the bout when his eyes seem to roll back. Watch the fight-ending strike that gave ‘Curtious’ Curtis Millender an emphatic UFC win in his first Octagon bout: