Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos improved his UFC win streak to seven at UFC Wichita. But like everyone else, he’d expected a stand-up fight with Curtis Millender, rather than a quick submission.
Wichita, Kansas — Elizeu Zaleski was paired up against the formidable Curtis Millender at UFC Wichita on Saturday night. Zaleski was ranked 14th in the UFC’s welterweight division heading in. Millender was riding a nine fight win streak. It was a promising battle, enough so that even without real name value, the UFC booked it as the evening’s co-main event.
Keen eyed observers were expecting a striking war. The fight turned out to be anything but. Instead, the Brazilian picked up a rather quick submission victory. With the win, he improved to 21-5, and stated his case for a top ten seeding at 170lbs.
After Zaleski’s performance at UFC Wichita, the welterweight was beaming, with “just the feeling that the job was done, and very grateful for all my team and everyone supporting me. I was very happy.” The Brazilian had trained for more of a standup battle, but didn’t really get one. Instead, “[Millender] actually just came in a little bit too close, too early,” and made Elizeu Zaleski’s job that much easier.
“We came here to put on a Fight of the Night performance, that was the whole plan. But this is MMA. The opportunity just showed up, and I took it,” he said of the finish.
Either way, it’s hard to argue with success. Now, the question is whether that success will result in a bump up in both the rankings, and public profile. Zaleski was vocal heading into UFC Wichita about wanting a little more attention. But following his latest win, he seemed more focus that life inside the cage than outside it.
“The work that I need to do in the octagon,” he said. “The rest if just extra. If I have a little bit extra to do, I don’t mind. But the big thing is just making sure that I go in there, do my job, get the finish, and get my arm raised.”
If he keeps doing that, and finishing, however, it will be hard to deny him a big step up in competition.