Curtis Millender has the biggest opportunity of his career in front of him.
On Thursday, a person with knowledge of the situation informed MMA Junkie that Millender will step in to fight Rory MacDonald at PFL 2021, Week 2. The person requested anonymity since the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
Millender, who’s competed for both the UFC and Bellator, accepted the short-notice welterweight fight for April 29 after MacDonald’s original opponent, David Michaud, revealed earlier Thursday that a heart condition will likely force him to retire from MMA.
Rory MacDonald aims to reach potential in PFL: ‘I want this to be the best part of my career’
After a three-fight stint in LFA, Millender (18-6) was signed to the UFC and made his promotional debut in February 2018, knocking out former welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves. Millender got off to a 3-0 start in the UFC before losing back-to-back fights and parting ways with the promotion. He returned to Bellator for two fights and split them, beating Moses Murrietta and losing to Sabah Homasi in most recent bout last August.
MacDonald (21-6-1), a former UFC title challenger and Bellator champion, signed with the PFL in early 2020 and has waited more than a year to make his debut after the promotion canceled last season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
PFL 2 takes place April 29 at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., with a main card on ESPN2 and prelims on ESPN+.
With the change, the PFL 2 lineup includes:
MAIN CARD (ESPN 2, 9 p.m. ET)
Rory MacDonald vs. Curtis Millender
Ray Cooper III vs. Jason Ponet
Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Tom Lawlor
Chris Camozzi vs. Emiliano Sordi
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 5:30 p.m. ET)
Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. Joao Zeferino
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Jordan Young
Cezar Ferreira vs. Nick Roehrick
Aleksei Kunchenko vs. Gleison Tibau
Nikolay Aleksakhin vs. Sadibou Sy
Marthin Hamlet vs. Dan Spohn