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UFC Austin: Curtis Millender wasn’t celebrating early in win over Thiago Alves, he was being merciful

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Austin Alves vs Millender Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) had the opportunity to introduce mixed martial arts (MMA) fans to up-and-coming welterweight prospect Curtis Millender, who immediately made an impact in the 170-pound division by dismantling former title contender Thiago Alves at UFC Fight Night 126.

Watch “Pitbull” get leashed right here.

But while impressive, Millender’s performance was not without criticism, as “Curtious” threw his arms up to celebrate victory after a punishing knockdown — only to quickly realize the fight had not been stopped.

So why did he take his foot off the gas?

“I knew I had him in the first round and I didn’t want to hit him again, but now I know: no brakes,” Millender said after the fight (via Sherdog). “This is how we feed our kids. I don’t want to permanently hurt someone. When you see someone’s eyes roll back, I didn’t want to go back in for more.”

Referee Jacob Montalvo with the dissenting opinion.

Millender (15-3), who also served time in Bellator MMA, is now the winner of seven straight with four violent finishes. No doubt his high-profile victory on FOX Sports 1 last Sunday night will catapult him to bigger and better opportunities.

So ... who’s next?