The interim titles will be online Saturday night at UFC 236 when middleweight Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum meet and featherweight champion Max Holloway faces Dustin Poirier for the lightweight crown.
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But before those fights in Atlanta, there are nine bouts of billboards, including light heavyweight Khalil Rountree Jr. and Ovince Saint Preux in action. This is how those contests went.
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Wilson Reis vs Alexandre Pantoja
Alexandre Pantoja downed Wilson Reis in the middle of the first round with a straight right and was launched immediately after the tracking shots. The referee intervened to stop the action 2 minutes, 58 seconds after the fight. Pantoja (21-3) has won three games in a row. Reis (23-10), a former UFC flyweight title challenger, has lost four of his last five.
Max Griffin defeats Zelim Imadaev by majority decision
Max Griffin and Zelim Imadaev made their displeasure known to each other in the run-up to their fight on Saturday. The bad blood produced a back and forth battle that saw Griffin defeat his opponent by majority decision (29-27, 29-27 and 28-28). Imadaev was discounted a point very early in the first round by grabbing the fence, resulting in unique scores. Both fighters exchanged shots throughout, but Griffin's multiple takedowns seemed to do more to his opponent than Imadaev's flamboyant attempts that often failed. It was Imadaev's first professional loss in nine fights. Griffin (15-6) recovered after two consecutive defeats.
Zelim Imadaev and Max Griffin throw punches and knees towards the end of the second round. Order UFC 236 on ESPN + at ESPNPLUS.COM/PPV
Khalid Taha defeats Boston Salmon in the first round TKO
The introduction of Khalid Taha lasted longer than his fight with Boston Salmon, as he toppled his opponent with a strong left hook in combat. Immediately he rushed forward and connected two more quick shots to Salmon's face before the referee intervened to officially end the bout at 25 seconds into the first round. Taha has now divided his last four. It was Salmon's second defeat in eight professional fights.
Belal Muhammad defeats Curtis Millender by unanimous decision
The basic game of Belal Muhammad turned out to be too much for Curtis Millender on Saturday, and he won by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 30-26). After a first round in which both fighters felt, Muhammad went to his elite takedown ability to take control. In both the second and third rounds, Muhammad was able to take Millender to the canvas and hit hard shots from above. It was enough to win the big win to improve to 15-3. Millender now has two straight losses after a quick start in the UFC.
Curtis Millender receives a strong and strong blow in the face of Belal Muhammed in the first round. Order UFC 236 on ESPN + at ESPNPLUS.COM/PPV
Montel Jackson defeats Andre Soukhamthath by unanimous decision
Montel Jackson's takedown and fight skills were in full screen against Andre Soukhamthath, winning the showdown by unanimous decision. Jackson took his opponent to the canvas throughout the fight and did most of his damage from above. In the third, after an accidental blow in the groin that had Soukhamthath in a ton of pain and lying on the ground, he got up and knocked Jackson down. But within a second Jackson reversed the position and was in full swing. It rained blows and remained in position for most of the third. Jackson improved to 8-1, while Soukhamthath dropped to 13-7.
Montel Jackson stuns Andre Soukhamthath with a right shot and an immediate left hook in the first round. Order UFC 236 on ESPN + at ESPNPLUS.COM/PPV
Poliana Botelho defeats Lauren Mueller by unanimous decision
Poliana Botelho appeared with gas when she left her corner for the third round, but fortunately for the Brazilian flyweight, she had clearly won the first two rounds with a great rivet job and a timely attack, and was able to reach the finish line to Win for the sixth time in your last seven starts. The three judges gave him the fight, the only female fight of the night, with 29-28 scores. Lauren Mueller dropped her second in a row.
Lauren Mueller and Poliana Botelho exchanged strikes in the third round. Order UFC 236 on ESPN + at ESPNPLUS.COM/PPV
Brandon Davis defeats Randy Costa for submission in the second round
Brandon Davis had to endure an initial attack by Randy Costa, a newcomer to the UFC who had won his previous four professional fights by knockout in the first round. But Davis stayed there, took the best shots from Costa and handed his own in exchange for a bantamweight starter for all the action. And at the start of the second round, Davis got the fight on the canvas, where he secured a stranglehold at 1:12 to stop a two-game losing streak.
Brandon Davis and Randy Costa exchange blows at the start of their fight. Order UFC 236 on ESPN + at ESPNPLUS.COM/PPV
Still to come:
Jalin Turner vs. Matt Frevola
Ovince Saint Preux against Nikita Krylov
Alan Jouban vs. Dwight Grant
Khalil Rountree Jr. against Eryk Anders
Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Max Holloway vs Dustin Poirier