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No Mercy III fight card update

Following its wildly successful North Country debut in May,‭ ‬Driller Promotions is set to return to beautiful Detroit Lakes on Saturday,‭ ‬Sept.‭ ‬6.

Nearly‭ ‬1,500‭ ‬fans packed Kent Freeman Arena when Driller Promotions,‭ ‬which is Minnesota's premier mixed martial arts promotional company,‭ ‬invaded Detroit Lakes on May‭ ‬24.‭ ‬Driller delivered its brand of high-energy MMA for the stellar crowd during its debut in DL,‭ ‬and it intends to do the same when it returns to the North Country on Sept.‭ ‬6.

Driller Promotions has been the state's top MMA organization since‭ ‬2010.‭ ‬On Sept.‭ ‬6,‭ ‬Driller presents‭ "‬No Mercy III‭" ‬back at Kent Freeman Arena.‭ ‬The event features four professional bouts and‭ ‬15‭ ‬total fights.

Detroit Lakes native Brian Heden had local fans on their feet during the main event of the May show.‭ ‬But UFC veteran Travis‭ "‬Diesel‭" ‬Wiuff had his hand raised,‭  ‬claiming the Driller heavyweight title.

Fans demanded a rematch.‭ And that's what was scheduled to go down. However, Wiuff was injured during a fight last weekend in Japan. However, a replacement quickly was secured, and Heden still will be in the evening's main event.

Stepping up to replace Wiuff is fellow Owatonna, Minn., native Danyelle Williams, who carries a 6-4-1 record. Williams is ranked No. 3 in Minnesota at 205 pounds, but he's coming up to heavyweight to face Heden. Williams has fought the best of the best in Minnesota. He went the distance with Wiuff earlier this year, suffering a five-round decision loss to the UFC vet.

Heden is‭ ‬28-14‭ ‬as a professional,‭ ‬and he holds a victory over UFC vet Sean McCorkle.

‭"‬I actually think the fans are going to get a better fight,‭" ‬Driller's Jeremy Bjornberg said.‭ "‬This is an incredible matchup. Williams will stand and trade punches with anyone, and he gets better every time out. Heden, well, there's a reason fans up there love him. He's fun to watch."

Several other top prospects will compete Sept.‭ ‬6,‭ ‬including the best local talent.

After his knockout win on the last Driller show in Detroit Lakes,‭ ‬local standout Kyler Wegner returns to action against veteran Derek Smith.‭ ‬Other professionals committed to the card include Corey Thompson, Deangelo Curtis, Shannon Scott and Tye Ferguson.

Local favorite Gemenie Strehlow was set to fight for the 205-pound amateur title. However, champion Ben‭ "‬The Ogre‭" ‬Strandlien suffered a hand injury and was forced to pull out of the bout. Stepping in to face Grehlow is unbeaten prospect Dale Grindahl.

Other local amateurs on the card include Jon Whitney,‭ ‬Adam Holzgrove,‭ ‬Rob Anderson,‭ ‬Jamie Lampi,‭ ‬Anthony Caputo,‭ ‬Eric Halverson and Michael Bullen.

The event begins at‭ 7‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬on Sept.‭ ‬6,‭ ‬with doors set to open at‭ ‬6‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Tickets for‭ "‬No Mercy III‭" ‬are available from participating fighters and online at‭ ‬Tickets start at‭ ‬$30.‭ ‬For every ticket sold,‭ ‬$5‭ ‬will be donated to Dan Kiser,‭ ‬the fighter who was injured in Detroit Lakes last May.‭ ‬Kiser is recovering and going through rehabilitation.