by Kieran Mulvaney
In the co-main event, Evgeny Gradovich retained a featherweight belt with a ninth-round TKO victory against the man from whom he first took the title, Australia’s Billy Dib. Gradovich, who bills himself as “The Russian Mexican,” steadily ground Dib down with his relentless, suffocating offense, knocking him down in the sixth round. Dib was game and did his best to return fire, but by the end he appeared to be wilting from every punch that landed.
After eight rounds, as Dib struggled to respond to commands, his trainer said to him in the corner, “Billy, I love you, but one more punch and it’s over.” It took only 1 minute and 10 seconds of the following frame for him to fulfill his promise, stopping the contest as Gradovich landed another combination.