Curtis Millender wants to prove the UFC made a mistake by releasing him and is using it as extra motivation ahead of his Bellator 238 matchup.
"I’m definitely going in there with a chip on my shoulder in this fight," Millender told theScore. "That’s the mindset going forward period until I'm back to making the money I deserve."
Millender (17-5) was cut from the UFC roster late last year after consecutive defeats to Elizeu Zaleski and Belal Muhammad. The 32-year-old went 3-2 in the Octagon, including a TKO finish over former title challenger Thiago Alves.
The California native hasn't fought since UFC 236 last April and has supported himself financially by working as a matchmaker for local promotion Fight Club OC.
Initially slated to fight kickboxing star Joe Schilling, Millender will battle Moses Murrietta in a 180-pound catchweight fight this Saturday. "Curtious" plans to add another finish to his highlight reel in his first fight back with Bellator since January 2017.
"I'm surprised that he took the fight. I've sparred with him before and let's just say I did some things to him that I’ll be able to do again. I'm looking to add some clips to my highlight reel. I've got some fun stuff I'm working on."
Signing with Bellator on just a one-fight deal (with an option), Millender hopes a victory will lead to making the type of money he secured during his UFC tenure.
"I wouldn't mind a Paul Daley (or) Michael Page fight. Even Ed Ruth or Jason Jackson I like, I like all those fights. At this point in my career, I need to be where I'm going to get the most money and get the most notoriety. My services are for the highest bidder."