UFC 236 Fight Pass Preliminary Card Results and Recaps

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UFC 236 Curtis Millender
Curtis Millender Credit: Mike Straus/Cageside Press

UFC 236 is topped by a pair of interim title fights, but first, four fights will take place on UFC Fight Pass, capped off by an exciting fight between Belal Muhammad and Curtis Millender.

UFC 236 goes down from Atlanta, Georgia, with Max Holloway gunning for an interim lightweight title against Dustin Poirier in a main event rematch. Kelvin Gastelum will fight Israel Adesanya for the interim middleweight belt as Robert Whittaker recovers. Eryk Anders vs. Khalil Rountree, Alan Jouban vs. Dwight Grant, and Ovince Saint Preux vs. Nikita Krylov round out the main card.

On Fight Pass, Curtis Millender and Belal Muhammad face off in a Fight of the Night candidate as they both look to recover from streak-snapping losses. Andre Soukhamthath looks to even up his UFC record against 7-1 Contender Series veteran Montel Jackson. Poliana Botelho and Lauren Mueller square off coming off their first UFC losses. Opening up the card, scrappy Brandon Davis welcomes northeast prospect Randy Costa to the Octagon. Davis is 1-3 in the Octagon while Costa is just 4-0 in his MMA career.

Brandon Davis vs. Randy Costa

UFC 236 marked Brandon Davis’ debut at bantamweight, and what a debut it was. Newcomer Randy Costa went right after Brandon Davis early, attacking with a right hand, landing to the chest, just missing the chin. The pair then began trading, back-and-forth, until Davis pressed the action up against the fence. Breaking free, Costa began landing some heavy punches, but Davis fired back, and Randy Costa was already in the longest fight of his career. Davis would later land a blow, hurting Costa, who was attempting kicks from all sorts of positions. With just over a minute remaining, Costa backed Davis up to the fence, first with his jab, then began landing combinations, punctuated with a kick. Davis covered up, survived, and came back, hurting Costa with his own attack.

Costa came out firing right away once again in the second, hurting Davis and backing him up to the cage. Davis tied him up, getting some crucial recovery time. Davis fired a knee to the body, the pair were standing and trading, then Costa changed levels looking for a takedown. Then turned out to be a mistake. Davis was able to take the back, sink in the rear-naked choke, and force the tap!

Brandon Davis def. Randy Costa by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 1:12

Lauren Mueller vs. Poliana Botelho

Botelho, who was moving up to flyweight for the fight, opened the action with a kick that came up short. Mueller got her hands going, backing the Brazilian up. Botelho, within the first minute, attacked both the legs and body with kicks, and one landing to the midsection forced her to cover up in pain. Botelho drove her back into the fence, which may have actually worked in her injured opponent’s favor. The Brazilian got the fight down, however, landing in half-guard. After some top time, Botelho fired some elbows to the body as Mueller attempted to scramble free. When Mueller finally did, she ate a knee to the body for her troubles.

Round saw the pair working against the fence early, reversing position, with both women struggling to maintain control. Both ladies would fire off elbows when they finally found some space, but shortly thereafter, Botelho put Mueller on her back. Mueller would scramble back to the fence, and eventually work her way up. However, she’d wind up trapped against the cage again as Botelho initiated another clinch. With little in the way of offense happening, the ref restarted the action with about thirty seconds left in the round, which allowed Mueller to hit home with a couple of strikes.

Mueller turned things up to start round three. pressuring Poliana Botelho and backing her up, firing punches. Botelho would again tie her opponent up, but was reversed quickly. They would reverse several more times, before breaking free, but each time Mueller tried to turn up the heat, Botelho would slow things down. Mueller finally began landing bombs in the final ninety seconds, mixing in some kicks, one of which took Botelho’s feet out from under her. However, Mueller bizarrely chose to go to the ground with the Brazilian, despite her success on the feet. She mixed in some ground n’ pound, but couldn’t find a finish, sending the fight to the judges.

Poliana Botelho def. Lauren Mueller by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-29)

Montel Jackson vs. Andre Soukhamthath

Andre Soukhamthath, the first ever UFC fighter of Laos descent, was back in the octagon at UFC 236. Squaring off with Montel Jackson, the pair had a protracted feeling out period to open the first round. It was single strikes, jabs, and leg kicks through much of the opening frame, with neither man wanting to commit, but neither wanting to back down either. That finally changed when Soukhamthath fired a knee to the body. Jackson fired a combo back, and scored a takedown with a minute remaining in the round. Soukhamthath was back up quickly, but that allowed Jackson to score a trip takedown with barely fifteen seconds remaining.

Round two opened with a little more urgency, as both fighters fired single strikes. Soukhamthath launched a superman punch. Jackson landed a knee. He’d later catch a kick, but couldn’t convert that to a takedown. The two would clinch after Soukhamthath fired off a couple low kicks, and Jackson would fire a hard left that landed to the face of his opponent as the broke apart. Jackson would later turn up the heat, backing his opponent up to the fence, but Soukhamthath proved to have a solid chin and survived the onslaught. Another takedown would come for Jackson, and he’d finish the round on top.

Soukhamthath opened the third with a kick, and then ate a kick in return moments later. Unfortunately, that kick was low, and Soukhamthath went down in obvious pain. When they restarted, Soukhamthath found himself mounted after a takedown attempt, in a very bad spot. Jackson had a tremendous opportunity to finish, or at least so serious damage. However, Soukhamthath got his opponent back into half guard. While perhaps a moral victory, he remained trapped on his back. An arm-bar attempt late in the round wouldn’t come close, and Jackson cruised to a sure victory on the scorecards.

Montel Jackson def. Andre Soukhamthath by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-27)

Curtis Millender vs. Belal Muhammad

The featured bout of the UFC 236 early prelims opened with a jumping attack from Millender, who clearly wanted to bring the fight early. Muhammad found his own success with a left hook. They would settle into a little more of a rhythm as the round progressed, but bey the end of the frame, Muhammad had been bloodied, with Millender hurting him with the jab.

The second had Muhammad still in the bout, looking to utilize his left hook some more. A couple of jumping attack attempts didn’t go his way, but he was able to close the distance and land a takedown. From there, Muhammad spent the remainder of the round on top, pretty much half the frame. Scoring some impressive ground n’ pound, he was very much able to turn the tide in his favor.

That continued in the third. Muhammad began wearing Millender down with right hands early. He than took Millender to the ground, moving the half-guard and peppering his foe with punches. Millender seemed unable to break free, and wasn’t defending particularly well, either. Part of that was likely exhaustion, given the drubbing he’d taken at the end of the second. Muhammad controlled Millender absolutely until the final seconds, landing more ground n’ pound and taking a decision win, after a tough first round.

Belal Muhammad def. Curtis Millender by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 30-26)

UFC 236: Holloway vs. Porier 2 Fight Pass Preliminary Results

Belal Muhammad def. Curtis Millender by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 30-26)
Montel Jackson def. Andre Soukhamthath by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-27)
Poliana Botelho def. Lauren Mueller by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-29)
Brandon Davis def. Randy Costa by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 1:12

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