Praying for Our Champ

as seen on, written by Ben Pherson

UPDATE: Kiser fighting, recovering Print E-mail
Written by Ben Pherson
Monday, 26 May 2014 20:03

Dan “The King” Kiser is improving daily, but he’s still not out of the woods yet.

On Saturday night during Driller Promotions’ “No Mercy II” at Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes, Minn., Kiser, a Wisconsin native who trains with Tom Schmitz at Spartan Martial Arts in Minnesota, suffered a traumatic brain injury and a tracheal collapse during his fight against Frankie Johnson.

The fight was scheduled to be for Kiser’s 145-pound Impact Fighting Championship belt, but Johnson missed weight, so it was a non-title fight. It was the evening’s main event.

Early in the fight, Johnson landed a left hand that rocked Kiser. But he recovered quickly, as he’s done many times in his fights. Kiser shot for a blast-double and took Johnson to the mat.

After some ground and pound, Kiser stood up and looked to rain down punches on the grounded Johnson. But Johnson landed a couple of up-kicks, hurting Kiser. After the second up-kick landed, Kiser was visibly stunned and a scramble ensued. Kiser grabbed on to Johnson’s leg and looked for a kneebar.

After a few moments, Kiser’s body went limp. It did not appear that Johnson landed any other significant strikes. Johnson latched on to a rear-naked choke and the ref quickly noticed Kiser was unresponsive and stopped the fight.

After Johnson let go of the choke, Kiser did not wake up. He stopped breathing momentarily, but was breathing again when he was put in the ambulance. He was taken to a local hospital and then was moved to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, where he remains today.

Kiser’s prognosis was grim early, but the King has been fighting, and medical personnel have been encouraged by his progress, according to Kiser’s manager Jeremy Bjornberg, who is currently with Kiser in Fargo.

Bjornberg said Kiser was able to open both of his eyes and move both of his hands Monday.

“It’s tough, the doctors can’t tell anyone much because they just don’t know,” Bjornberg said. “Hopefully we’ll know more (Tuesday). The doctors did say it’s a (brain injury) unlike one they’ve ever seen before in a sports injury. So they’re not sure what really happened in there, if it was something else or something that happened during the fight.

“The good news is there’s progress. Dan was responsive, he hears what we’re saying and he’s reacting.”

Kiser entered the fight 12-3 as a professional. He’s currently ranked No. 3 at 145 pounds in the MNMMANEWS Unified Rankings. He had won six consecutive fights entering Saturday and 12 of his past 13, including wins over previously unbeaten Cam Ramberg and ranked Billy Christianson.

Kiser is one of the most-loved fighters in Minnesota, known for being an incredible person and an exciting fighter.

Last Updated on Monday, 26 May 2014 22:16
Posted in MMA

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