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Knockout! Curtis Millender vs Thiago Alves full fight video highlights - UFC Fight Night 126

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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight kickboxers Thiago Alves and Curtis Millender threw down last night (Feb. 18, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 126 inside Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

For years, Alves’ career has been plagued by inconsistency, be it injuries or off-performances mixed with the occasional stellar showing that inspires hope. Alves looked quite sharp last time out, and the Brazilian’s fans were hoping for another strong showing. Meanwhile, Millender was making his UFC debut, but lanky striker had some hype behind him thanks to a pair of high-kick knockouts. Leading up to the fight, it was hard to predict which man would have his hand raised, but a high-action kickboxing match was nearly guaranteed.

Millender began the bout with patient pressure, inching Alves towards the fence and looking to land rangy strikes. Alves played the counter striker, working behind the jab and looking for openings. Both men were slow to open up, but it was Millender who found his range first and landed the first significant strikes of the bout.

With about two minutes remaining in the round, Millender connected with a big left hook that stunned his foe. The veteran recovered well, but Millender continued to pick his shots well, dropping Alves with a massive right hand. The bout seemed to be over, but Alves managed to fight back to his feet, enduring a good deal of abuse before scoring a takedown at the end of the round.

Millender could not have asked for a better opening frame.

Alves was far less willing to work from his back foot in the second, walking towards his opponent with good combinations and kicks. Millender continued to stab at Alves with accurate jabs and counters, but the Brazilian succeeded in making it a competitive fight once more.

Just as Alves seemed to be picking up momentum and scoring with low kicks more frequently, the bout came to a close. Alves looked to move forward behind his left hook, but Millender hand-fought and stepped into a giant knee instead. It drove right through Alves’ jaw, sending the Brazilian to the mat instantly.

Millender attempted a walkout in the first to poor results, but this time his finish was clean.

This was a stellar debut from “Curtious.” From the very beginning, Millender looked quite calm in the cage, measuring his opponent and looking for any opportunity. He soon picked up on Alves’ habit of ducking into punches, which allowed Millender to do big damage with the right uppercut and the eventual switch knee knockout.

On the whole, Millender used his range very well. His rate of activity wasn’t all that high, but he made his shots count and did a great job of making Alves miss. When Alves grew a bit too desperate to land, Millender was quick to respond with a hard counter shot that deterred — and eventually finished — the veteran.

There are some things to work on, as Alves did seem to be finding his range and building momentum, but this is only Millender’s debut. He’s a new and exciting addition to the Welterweight division, and hopefully he’ll receive another striker in his next match up.

As for Alves, he’s fairly accustomed to dealing with a height and reach disadvantage, but this was pretty extreme. Normally, Alves works low kicks and slows his foe down enough to find his range, and that’s the strategy he worked in this match. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, Millender gave him few opportunities to land, and by the time Alves began to find success, his opponent had a strong read on him.

At the end of the day, Alves’ position largely remains the same. He’s not a contender anymore, as his role is to test up-and-comers and put on entertaining battles. He accomplished both tasks here, he just landed on the unfortunate result of meeting a very talented prospect.

Last night, Curtis Millender announced himself with a massive knockout win. Who should MIllender face next?

For complete UFC Fight Night 126: “Cerrone vs. Medeiros” results and play-by-play, click HERE!