Che Mills‘ exit from the UFC was swift and unceremonious.
UFC President Dana White was vocal in his displeasure over seeing the striking specialist get taken down and struggle to get back to his feet in about with Matt Riddle at UFC on FUEL TV 7.
When a list of cuts came to the promotion’s roster, Mills’ name was on it.
Riddle’s win was later overturned to a no-contest when he tested positive for marijuana, but Mills wasn’t invited back for another chance in the octagon.
The Brit, however, is picking himself back up and restarting his career, and in his first post-UFC fight, he’s already booked for a title shot.
“It’s definitely a blessing,” Mills (15-5) told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
In what will be his 22nd professional MMA fight, Mills is set to meet up-and-comer Cathal Pendred (12-2), who hopes to springboard into the UFC with a win at Cage Warriors 55. The event takes place Saturday at The Helix in Dublin, with main-card fights streaming on MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) and prelims serving on Facebook.
“I fought for them in the past,” Mills said of the promotion. “They treated me very well, and the offer they gave me was almost a no-brainer to sign with them.”
Mills won a decision over Jake Hecht at Cage Warriors 38, but he didn’t stay put for long. After picking up more international experience, he made his debut in the UFC, stopping Chris Cope via first-round TKO at UFC 138.
This time around, Mills, who signed an exclusive five-fight deal, plans to be bold and daring against Pendred, who trains with UFC featherweight Conor McGregor and has won six of his past seven.
Mills, meanwhile, is 4-1 since his decision over Hecht.
“To be honest, I just see myself finishing it,” Mills said. “I don’t know where, I don’t know how, but I definitely see me winning within the time limit.”
The fight takes place on Pendred’s home soil of Ireland, but Mills isn’t concerned about judging if the action goes to the scorecards.
“The judges can sit down there and drink a coffee, because they’re going to be unemployed for that fight,” he said.
Although he said he’s comfortable wherever the fight goes, he said he’d like to end the fight with a flying knee. He’s a fan of the technique and counts Jose Aldo‘s KO of Cub Swanson as his favorite.
Whether he makes his way back to the big show is not his focus right now.
“For my part, it’s done,” Mills said. “It happened. What I can do is move forward. That’s all I can do, really.”
For more on Cage Warriors 55, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
MMAjunkie.com Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie.com lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.