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When the main event begins, around 11:30 p.m. ET, check out our Wilder vs. Helenius live round-by-round updates for our live blog of the main event.
Check out the Wilder vs. Helenius undercard live blog below for the FITE pay-per-view portion that will begin at 9 p.m. ET.
Gary Antonio Russell vs. Emmanuel Rodriguez
Round 1: Russell comes out working the stiff southpaw jab immediately. Rodriguez moving around on the outside, probing with his own lead hand. Russell setting the range. Rodriguez digs a good right hand to the body. Rodriguez cutting the ring early, but Russell is standing his ground. Another body shot from Rodriguez, sneaking that right hand under Russell’s elbow. Russell gets caught lazy after a combination and Rodriguez returns a good one, again hitting the body. Rodriguez hurts Russell with a right hand counter as Russell again got lazy pulling his defense back! Rodriguez trying to put it on him but Russell hanging tough and Rodriguez can’t find anything huge before the bell. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Rodriguez.
Round 2: Russell seems fine to start the round. Just a flash shot that stunned him. Rodriguez certainly looking a little more powerful early on. Russell not sticking the jab nearly as much as before. Both swing big and we get a clinch. Russell finally back to the jab, it’s been his best weapon early on. Rodriguez lands a nasty counter right hand, this time off a Russell jab, that bends the knees momentarily. He’s making money with that shot. Rodriguez staying patient and really finding a home for the counters. Russell sticking the jab still, but he looks puzzled in there. And Rodriguez lands another right hand before the bell. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Rodriguez, 20-18 Rodriguez overall.
Round 3: Russell comes out working behind a double jab now, and follows it up with a left hand that gets Rodriguez’s attention. Still, Rodriguez in command here, and he fires a combination of hooks the next time Russell steps in. Russell really struggling to find offense here. Every time he gets something going, Rodriguez is landing big counters. It’s dissuaded Russell from opening up. And another big right snaps Russell’s head back as he jabs. Rodriguez starting to feel himself in there now, hands low. And pops another right hand. Rodriguez really has the timing down at the moment. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Rodriguez, 30-27 Rodriguez overall.
Round 4: Russell comes out with some pep, gets inside and fires some hooks. Rodriguez pivots out and wobbles Russell with a clean right hand! Russell through the jab and Rodriguez popped him stepping in. Lightning quick and put Russell on skates! He’s moving and clinching, keeping himself in it, but he was in serious trouble for a moment. Rodriguez staying so patient, not overextending. Russell has his legs under him and he comes forward but he gets cracked again! Russell manages to keep his feet but another counter put him on wonky legs. Russell simply has no answer for the speed, timing, and power of Rodriguez thus far. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Rodriguez, 40-36 Rodriguez overall.
Round 5: Rodriguez is taking Russell to school at the moment right now. But Russell coming out with fire this round. He’s pressing the action right now, staying in Rodriguez’s face and trying to make this rough. He’s inside the counters of Rodriguez and he’s hitting to the body some. Rodriguez trying to move to space to get his shots off but Russell smothering him for the moment. Russell attacking the body much more now. Russell finding success this round. His mucking this bout up some, and doing decent work inside. Rodriguez land his own in here, but this is better than getting picked off coming in. Rodriguez backs Russell up now though and he’s getting off snapping right hands near the end. Russell covering and retreating. Russell’s best round but still probably not enough to take it. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Rodriguez, 50-45 Rodriguez overall.
Round 6: Russell again coming forward this round but with less urgency. Rodriguez back to range and landing some nasty right hands. Russell cannot get inside this round at all, and Rodriguez is sniping him. I don’t know what Russell can do here. Rodriguez lands a mean one to the body. He’s so relaxed right now, and he’s even getting his own jab working. Russell not giving up whatsoever though. He’s still in it. But the clean, best punches are all for Rodriguez halfway through the bout. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Rodriguez, 60-53 Rodriguez overall.
Round 7: Rodriguez looks sensational tonight. Lands a stinging jab to open the round. The pace has slowed a bit now, but Rodriguez finding a home for the jab, followed by the right. Russell looking very tentative. Lennox Lewis says Russell is looking to set traps, but he’s having no success there. Russell hasn’t landed much of consequence this entire fight. Decent left connects for Russell as I say that. And a combo from him gets Rodriguez stepping back. But he presses his luck and Rodriguez lands a sharp counter that resets the exchange. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Rodriguez, 70-62 Rodriguez overall.
Round 8: Rodriguez’s corner is fired up at their fighter, telling him to get out there and get after it. This is in a fight that he’s comfortably winning. Love the energy. He does it to start though and Russell lands a stinging shot of his own. Rodriguez may be slowing some and Russell is upping his output now. Rodriguez is grabbing some, slowing this up. Back at space he lands a good right. Russell pressing the action and getting his jab involved. He’s also finally getting Rodriguez up against the ropes at times, which is allowing him to get some offense off. A low blow from Russell causes a brief break in the action. Rodriguez looks angry and HE FLOORS RUSSELL! Russell stepped in and Rodriguez blasted him straight to the floor. Russell is in a world of trouble but he beats the count and the round ends, saving him. The timekeeper did not ring the bell though so there’s some we’re stuff going on here but the end result is Russell is still in this, but consciousness might not still be in his head. His corner should not allow him to return. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-8 Rodriguez, 80-70 Rodriguez overall.
Round 9: This is an absolute cluster. The ninth round restarted but the clock did not. This is anarchy and pretty unprofessional. Russell somehow recovered, possibly in part because there was clearly more than a minute in between the round. And Rodriguez still lamping Russell with that right hand. Russell looking almost back to his self, but Rodriguez keeps popping him. His balance is not all the way there and he falls down in a clinch with Rodriguez, resulting in a weird tackle. They get up and Rodriguez stamps him with another right hand that puts a jolt in Russell. This is potentially dangerous stuff. And Rodriguez goes down! No count from the referee because it was a huge clash of heads that dropped him. No intent, just an awkward collision. A big gash under the eye of Rodriguez from the headbutt, but he doesn’t want this one to end, understandably. He shakes it off and we’re back and the round ends. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Rodriguez, 90-79 Rodriguez overall.
Round 10: The doctor is taking a look at Rodriguez and it looks like they’re going to stop this one. WOW. They called the referee over. Rodriguez seems okay, or at least he’s better off than Russell likely is at this point. I have no idea what the hell is going on. The doctor’s have officially stopped this fight, meaning we’re going to the scorecards. Astonishing. I mean, safety first and all, but it seems odd that Rodriguez is deemed unable to continue but Russell was allowed to do so.
Official Decision: Emmanuel Rodriguez def. Gary Antonio Russell by Technical Decision at :02 of Round 10 (100-90, 99-91, 99-93)
Frank Sanchez vs. Carlos Negron
Round 1: Gotta love the heavyweight. Big boys coming out with ill intent right away. Negron with a clear height advantage and he’s looking to use it but Sanchez trying to crowd right away, stepping in behind a high guard. Negron a little loose out there and a nasty left hook just misses from Sanchez. He’s bombing in there but can’t find the mark thus far. Negron lands a lead left to the body. Mean shot. Negron standing his ground behind a thudding jab and the occasional big right hand behind it. Sanchez getting a bit wild at times. He’s really trying to roughhouse in there, but Negron keeping the distance. Sanchez in charge though and gets Negron up against the ropes as the round ends. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Sanchez.
Round 2: Sanchez showing some fast hands to start the round. Negron still thudding with the jab and 1-2. Sanchez isn’t disguising anything and it’s allowing Negron to see most of the offense. Negron not getting any real offense off on his own, just busy work. Well, I say that but then he digs to the body nicely. Sanchez not quite figuring out the distance thus far. Starting to get his own jab going and that’s what he needs, it’ll open up cleaner offense for him. A bit of a filler round though, as Negron sets a long range and neither man makes much happen as a result. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Sanchez, 20-18 Sanchez overall.
Round 3: Sanchez’s corner tells him he’s being too aggressive. He does not listen though and he starts chucking them in tight and Negron lands something decent in there that gets Sanchez moving off. Negron showing more intent in this round now. He’s working the jab consistently now, and firings shots off it. Sanchez charges in and we get a brief clinch. Sanchez is not accomplishing much this fight, other than outward aggression. Stepping left hook gets around the guard for Sanchez and the round ends. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Negron, 29-28 Sanchez overall.
Round 4: Negron still doing a good job of keeping Sanchez at bay to start the fourth. Sanchez bringing a little bit more controlled pressure this round, and he lands a good right hook inside. Negron back to the jab, double and tripled up. Sanchez getting stuck outside of that. Right hand comes in from Sanchez. When they get in close, Sanchez is ripping combos inside, but Negron is landing some of his own in there. The numbers are very close for this entire fight, even though the optics are clearly in favor of Sanchez. Negron ends the round with a solid combination. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Sanchez, 39-36 Sanchez overall.
Round 5: At this point I’ll say that the scores could be anything here. Neither man is making a big statement thus far. Commentary clearly favoring Sanchez though, the guy who is supposed to win.
Negron continues to snap the jab out there. It’s not getting to Sanchez, but it’s keeping him at bay. And Negron is really active with it this round. Pat, pat, pat, pat. Sanchez deterred at the moment. He’s not having any success slipping the jab and countering, which he’s tried a couple of times. Negron tap, tap, tapping Sanchez. Ooo. Good jab to the body. Sanchez hasn’t done much this round. He may be slowing. And Negron continues to peck away. He’s found a very comfortable range and he’s getting a rhythm going. This is his best round by far. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Negron, 48-47 Sanchez overall.
Round 6: Sanchez has some pep in his step this round. Negron sticking to his game plan, and he’s still making it work, mostly. Sanchez getting off a little more this round. Negron still touching Sanchez, constantly. Sanchez turns it up now and a big left hook lands to the jaw of Negron. Negron now retreating some and Sanchez seems to sense weakness. Another big shot connects. Negron isn’t wobbled, but he’s taking some big shots and his face is now bloodied up. Negron still working that jab though, pat, pat, pat. MMA Fighting score the round 10-9 Sanchez, 58-56 Sanchez overall.
Round 7: More of the same this round. Negron so consistent with that jab. Sanchez lands his own this time. He’s crowding Negron a lot more now. Negron needs to stick a right hand and get some respect back. Sanchez gets him to the ropes and unloads a big shot. Negron gets on his bike. Both men still throwing at a good clip. Big hook lands from Sanchez! Negron wears it well, but his face is starting to show it some. Collision and a shove results in Sanchez tripping to the mat. No knockdown, but Sanchez gets up and starts firing shots. Good hook to the body. Negron responds with a snappy right hand, and then a 1-2. And another. Negron is not letting Sanchez build momentum. Really savvy boxing, even if he is losing. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Sanchez, 68-65 Sanchez overall.
Round 8: Negron with more of the same. Super active with the jab but Sanchez smothering him now some, and lands a decent left inside. Sanchez stalking a bit now. Negron on his bike, can’t sit down on the jab or keep Sanchez off, and he eats a big left hook. Sanchez starting to body Negron up a bit now. Big combo unleashed rattles Negron’s head as he backs up to the corner, then pivots to space. Sanchez establishing himself for real this round, and the power shots have slowed the jabs from Negron now. He’s retreating. Negron sits down to exchange and Sanchez lands a good uppercut. Negron once again bloodied up but he looks alright. Extremely game, that’s for sure. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Sanches, 78-64 Sanchez overall.
Round 9: Doctor checks Negron’s cut before the round. Negron is split open on the bridge of his nose but it’s not that bad. They come out and get back to business but a big shot from Sanchez clubs Negron to the mat!! Negron is up and seems okay, but Sanchez smells blood in the water and he’s unloading now. Negron firing back in the heat, but he doesn’t have much pop on them now. This is savvy keeping him in it, but for how long? Sanchez smashes him with another big shot and Negron is on the ropes. Another big shot bounces Negron’s head around and the referee intervenes! Negron protests the stoppage and he was still on his feet and had something left, but that’s a good stoppage. Negron had nothing to offer there.
Official Decision: Frank Sanchez def. Carlos Negron by TKO at 1:36 of Round 9.
Caleb Plant vs. Anthony Dirrell
Round 1: No love lost between these two as the co-main event kicks off, and Plant gets aggressive right from the jump. Long range here from both, and lots of motion from Plant. Dirrell gets Plant in a headlock and rips to the body as the ref breaks it up. Plant hits a jab to the body. He looks a bit quicker to start here. Dirrell reacting somewhat slowly, and looking very cautious, despite all his rough words beforehand. Dirrell very measured with his strikes, holding his ground, looking for openings for that power. Plant with a bit more active thus far but Dirrell cracks him when Plant comes in. Good shot there but can’t follow it up. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Plant.
Round 2: Plant gets the jab going early. Dirrell still very measured. He is holding the center now but Plant lands a stepping jab that snaps Dirrell’s head back. Dirrell trying to get off counters but none hitting so far. Lands a stinging jab, Dirrell counters, and then Plant tags him back. Good little exchange there. Then Plant lands to the body. Plant mixing his levels really well with that jab, keeping Dirrell off balance. Dirrell still holding the center, he’s got that right hand cocked and ready to unload. Plant tags the body again. He’s making a habit of that. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Plant, 20-18 Plant overall.
Round 3: Dirrell gets a good right hand off to start. Plant rips a pair of right to the body though. Dirrell really trying to set up the counter hook, up top. And his focus on the head is making him a little less dangerous. Dirrell then explodes forward and we get a clinch. Dirrell getting rough inside and the ref intervenes which causes Dirrell to object vehemently. Kind of ridiculous, because it was obvious. But probably just frustration. He’s not finding shots of his own. Dirrell goes to the body and Dirrell hits a good counter. He’s starting to have some success there. Step in from Plant and there’s a collision, Dirrell gets off a shot inside and then turns into a tackle where Dirrell lands on top of Plant. Things getting very chippy in there. They’re up and nothing much happens before the round ends. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Plant, 30-27 Plant overall.
Round 4: Referee has warned Dirrell about the questionable tactics and Plant gets a snappy combo off to start the round. Dirrell still not getting much going and another clinch, with some infighting but this one is at least clean-ish. Plant outworking Dirrell at range. Dirrell just not doing too much. Plant working at range and inside. He puts together a good combo. Dirrell not allowing Plant to land clean, but he’s not hitting the big counters. Dirrell lands a decent hook on the inside as Plant overextends. Plant lunging a little more now and Dirrell making more happen as a result. Plant getting a little lax with his defense and that was Dirrell’s best round, maybe enough to take the round. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Dirrell, 39-37 Plant overall.
Round 5: Exchanges to kick this round off and Plant sends Dirrell stumbling back from a jab that caught Dirrell off balance. He’s fine though. Dirrell no the attack now, showing feints and trying to draw the strikes out from Plant. Plant’s speed and range has let him get ahead but Dirrell starting to adjust. Plant popping a jab. Dirrell can’t find much in this round so far. Plant in the same boat. He’s single-shotting. Nevermind, Plant mixes a nice levels combo and cracks a good hook, one of his best of the night. Dirrell now trying to get it back and he unloads a combo and Plant rolls most of it, then puts his hands in the air and bounces away. Dirrell gives chase and tries again, but against Plant’s defense is on point. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Plant, 49-46 Plant overall.
Round 6: Dirrell playing cat and mouse now, he’s backing up and drawing Plant in. Plant obliges and lands hooks to the head and body. Dirrell can’t make him pay. Dirrell finds a left inside as Plant comes in, Plant lands over the top. Dirrell goes to the body, a rarity. Plant throwing space fillers, and then hits a solid one to the body, but Dirrell finds a left counter. He’s hitting that more frequently. Plant gets Dirrell against the ropes but he’s tentative about unloading. Short time and Dirrell tries to leap in but Plant evades and then at the bell Dirrell feigns terror and runs away. A lot of showboating instead of actually trying to hit Plant, and this one may be slipping away from him. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Plant, 59-55 Plant overall.
Round 7: Plant finds a snappy left hook to start this round. Dirrell holding the center. Plant circling and then firing combos. Dirrell hits a counter that off-balances Plant but it’s few and far between. Plant now drawing Dirrell in for the counter, but Dirrell won’t bite and so we have an extended period of zero punches, which brings the boos out. A clinch comes, Dirrell gets a little dirty and the referee gets involved, which again brings complaints from Dirrell. We’re getting chippy again. Ref has to jump in twice more. Plant putting the speed on display and Dirrell isn’t landing much here. Plant now has Dirrell in the corner but again he’s not unleashing. Just before the bell we get a good exchange where both men slip almost everything but continue to return fire. There are some fun points, but a lot of ugly in here. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Plant, 69-64 Plant overall.
Round 8: Plant’s corner tells him “F*** this crowd.” They’re here to win and they don’t want Plant to get sucked into a brawl. Another clinch and near tackle, but Plant generously doesn’t choose to fall on Dirrell like Dirrell did to him. Exchanges with air. Another clinch. Plant showing excellent defense but he’s lowered the work rate, and Dirrell seems allergic to throwing unless Plant does so first. Another clinch. Dirrell has to actually try to win at some point. He gets Plant in the corner and swings, but comes up short and then a collision and Dirrell slips down to the mat. He kips himself up, which is fun. Back to business. Plant glances a combo, Dirrell returns fire, whiffs. Fun exchange though. But the crowd is not in love with this fight. Plant fires off a combo behind a jab to end the round. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Plant, 79-73 Plant overall.
Round 9: Dirrell comes out with verve to start this round and gets Plant against the ropes but he clinches and gets the break. Plant then pops him back. Dirrell getting after it more and he snaps Plant with a big shot that has him in retreat. Another clinch and Dirrell keeps leaning on Plant. The referee breaks it up and Dirrell is yelling at him. He cannot understand that he’s not allowed to do that. Also, he shouldn’t because he was doing well there. But oh well. Plant is in space and doing okay. Dirrell and Plant are talking to each other in there. Can’t hear what they’re saying but I’m sure it’s all compliments and friendship. Dirrell has Plant backing up a lot now though and he’s finding some shots inside. Plant moving.
OH MY GOD. PLANT PUTS DIRRELL OUT COLD WITH A LEFT HOOK IN THE EXCHANGE. OUT OF NOWHERE!!!!
Plant celebrates (to the point of crassness) with his KO, but Dirrell is in a really bad way. He stayed down for a few minutes.
Official Decision: Caleb Plant def. Anthony Dirrell by KO at 2:57 of Round 9.