Back with Bellator, Curtis Millender hopes to finally get his hands on Michael Page

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LOS ANGELES – Curtis Millender is yet to make the first walk of his second tenure as a Bellator fighter, but he already has a hit list of potential victims in mind, with one of the promotion’s biggest names firmly in his crosshairs.

Millender was due to face Michael Page on numerous occasions in the past, including a booking at Bellator 134 in 2015. But injury to “MVP” scuppered that matchup and left Millender unable to face the flashy Brit. Now back in Bellator, Millender (17-5 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) says he hopes to finally get his hands on Page, and would also love to share the cage with “MVP’s” fellow countryman, Paul Daley.

“The Paul Daley fight is just like I’m a fan of his so I would love to fight him but (expletive) MVP,” Millender told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “We’ve been scheduled to fight so many times, just the falling out, it just doesn’t make sense. It’s either the way me and him have been matched and put together and the reason why it hasn’t come together, it’s never been my fault. I’ve never said no to anybody, ever and I mean this dude, just (expletive) this dude.”

But first, Millender has to get past Moses Murrietta (8-3 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) this Saturday at Bellator 238. Despite perhaps not being a household name of the Bellator roster, Murrietta is a face Millender says he’s very familiar with.

“I’m a fan of this sport, I know everybody,” Millender said. “I watch all the Bellator fights, I watch all the LFA fights. Moses Murietta, I’ve been to pretty much all of his local fights because he’s a local guy so I’ve said it before, there’s not going to be anybody that they’re going to throw at me that I don’t know.”

“He’s a technical striker, as well, but you can’t do that with me. It doesn’t matter how good your striking is, I’m going to find a hole. I’m going to find a hole and exploit it.”

Millender’s release from the UFC came as a surprise to many, including himself, but now his fighting future has been secured, Millender is glad to no longer be in limbo and excited to return to action.

“For six months it was just: ‘Oh, we’re going to give you something… Hmm, we’re not going to give you something,’ and then ‘We’re not going to give you anything, you’re cut.’ So it’s been a very, very emotional rollercoaster these last six to eight months but I have a new spot and they’re taking care of me and I get to fight, do what I love.”

Now settled with his new promotion, but still with the bitter taste of his UFC release in his mouth, Millender said he plans on turning that sense of injustice into positive performances inside the Bellator cage, starting against Murietta on Saturday night.

“That is the mood for life now. I’m always going to be fighting with a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “Somebody’s always going to have to pay for what happened.”