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Critically injured MMA fighter improving; support fund started

Dan 'The King' Kiser was injured during an MMA contest May 24 in Kent Freeman Arena. He is off life support and improving. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Two weeks after a Mixed Martial Arts fight card was staged May 24, in Detroit Lakes’ Kent Freeman Arena, a critically-injured fighter is making progress after a week battling for his life in a Fargo hospital.

Dan “The King” Kiser collapsed during his MMA contest, apparently from severe blows to the trachea after receiving kicks from his opponent.

Sustaining a collapsed trachea and then undergoing surgery to reduce pressure on his brain, doctors said his recovery in the first 10 days has been remarkable, according to family members.

At the moment the severe injury occurred, the referee stopped the fight and the Twin Cities’ contestant, who has relatives in this area, was life-flighted to Fargo. His family lives in Fargo and his uncle, Mark Kiser, is a Detroit Lakes resident.

According to his manager, Jeremy Bjornberg, Kiser is off life support assistance and “getting better each day.”

Bjornberg, who is also part of the MMA promotion team, said Tuesday, “Dan is a lot better, moving his hands, he’s awake and talking.”

In a conversation with the young man’s father, Dan Kiser Sr. of Fargo, it was reaffirmed the injured ring warrior had made certain he was insured.

But Dan Kiser, Sr. said he realizes the medical bills will total “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

He continued, “Danny right now is improving… fighting for quality of life.”

Doctors have told the family the next 30 to 45 days will be critical in knowing what his future holds.

“When Daniel was taken out of the ring, he was not breathing. He was on a respirator, 100 percent.

“Doctors say he will have some deficits. More will be known as the trachea gets better and rehab goes on,” he continued.

The father added: “It is in God’s hands. The doctors have said my son was in great shape…superb cardiovascular condition.”

Young Dan, who fought at 145 pounds, has seven siblings. He is 27, with a fiancé and two children.

After first being in a coma, Kiser’s condition has been changed to reflect his progress, according to the manager-promoter.

A fund has been started in an attempt to help with medical expenses incurred regarding the aftermath, he continued.

Earlier this week, the fund had grown to more than $8,500. Information can be gained, and donations made at the following website:

Bjornberg said Driller Promotions, the group booking MMA fight cards, carries insurance “as mandated by the state.”

While legal consultants know the specifics, the manager said he believes each fighter is covered by $10,000 to $20,000 insurance for the MMA bouts.

He admitted, “It won’t be enough.”