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UFC 236 ESPN prelims results & highlights: Alexandre Pantoja, Khalid Taha pick up first-round TKO’s

Check out the results and highlights from the UFC 236 ESPN prelims, including Alexandre Pantoja TKOing Wilson Reis in the first round. 

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The ESPN part of the UFC 236 prelims just concluded with Matt Frevola out-grappling Jalin Turner to win a unanimous decision. Frevola is now a unique 1-1-1 in the UFC. Before that, the UFC’s #5 ranked flyweight Alexandre Pantoja dropped the #4 ranked Wilson Reis before taking him out with ground strikes in the opening round. Pantoja has now won three-straight bouts, with his previous-two now by way of finish.

Also on the prelims, Max Griffin and Zelim Imadaev waged war on one another tonight, with each man having their moments. Despite one judge seeing it as a 28-28 draw, the other two both saw the bout 29-27 in favor of Griffin. The win snaps a two-fight losing skid for Griffin. Opening up the televised portion of the UFC 236 prelims, Khalid Taha made quick work of Boston Salmon, realizing a TKO in just 25-seconds. The return to bantamweight was a huge success for the now 13-2 Taha.

**See the complete results below.

ESPN prelims:

Matt Frevola def. Jalin Turner by unanimous decision (30-27 x3): Lightweight

Frevola cracked Turner with a right hand right away, before snagging a takedown. Turner exposed his back, and Frevola took full-advantage of it, controlling his foe. Turner made it back to his feet and tagged Frevola with a hard punch that registered, but Frevola went right back to the takedown. A mounted guillotine was locked up by Frevola, but Turner escaped harms way yet again and returned to his feet.

Frevola attacked relentlessly with the takedown attempts to start the second round, but Turner showcased some stellar takedown defense. Each man landed a few punches on the feet, and then with less than a minute remaining in the round Frevola found his takedown. Frevola rolled for another guillotine, but ended up giving Turner top position. Just before the round ended, Frevola landed a hard illegal up-kick from his back, causing a stop in the action. Turner took a second to recover and then finished out the remaining seconds of the round.

The final frame got off to a slow start with both men hanging out on the outside. Frevola blasted a takedown with about three-minutes left in the round to plant Turner on his back. Turner had a brief sub attempt early on, and then remained until his moment came to explode up to his feet. Turner scored with a couple of strikes as time dwindled down, and Frevola blasted a last-second takedown as the buzzer sounded.

Alexandre Pantoja def. Wilson Reis by TKO at 2:58 of round 1: Flyweight

Pantoja got his strikes going early in the opening round as Reis waited for his opening to get on the inside. Reis found his opportunity, and took Pantoja down to the mat, albeit short-lived. All of a sudden, a straight right hand floored Reis. Pantoja went into kill-mode and began to swarm Reis with ground strikes. The referee had no choice but to stop the fight.

Max Griffin def. Zelim Imadaev by majority decision (29-27 x2, 28-28): Welterweight

Griffin came out and snuffed Imadaev right in the face. He then switched to the takedown, and Imadaev grabbed ahold of the fence to avoid it, resulting in a no-nonsense point deduction. Griffin went right back to the grappling attack, hunting down a rear-naked choke. Imadaev hung tough and made it back to his feet, but was unable to do much before Griffin closed the distance again.

Griffin went back to his takedown attempts in the second round, but Imadaev did a sound job of scrambling back to his feet. Once Imadaev tried a spinning attack, Griffin was able to duck under and get another short-lived takedown. Imadaev would rally, landing some hard strikes as Griffin started to slow down. Griffin was on the proverbial ropes as Imadaev poured it on, but the round expired before a finish materialized.

Imadaev continued to throw with bad intentions in the final round, backing up Griffin. Griffin continued to throw back, but Imadaev was connecting with some bombs. Another short-lived takedown was acquired by Griffin, and then he landed some really crushing knees to the body of Imadaev. They brawled it out for the closing moments of the round.

Khalid Taha def. Boston Salmon by TKO at :25 of round 1: Bantamweight

Taha bombed on Salmon right away! A heavy overhand right just missed for Taha but the following left hook slumped Salmon. Then, the followup barrage of ground strikes sealed the deal. What a brutal starching!