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‘No Mercy III’ will follow up on MMA success

Frazee’s Kyler Wegner (top) will be one of the local fighters featured in “No Mercy III” to be held Sept. 6, inside Kent Freeman Arena. He is 2-0 in No Mercy cards. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham

Following its wildly successful North Country debut in May, Driller Promotions is set to return to 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 presents “No Mercy III” back at Kent Freeman Arena.

The event features six professional bouts and more than 15 total fights.

“No Mercy II was quite successful, so we’re coming back again,” said Chris Holt, who is one of the organizers of the card.

Frazee 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 heavyweight title.

Wiuff recently agreed to the rematch, so Heden will get his second chance at the belt.

Wiuff defended his title for the first time last month, with a unanimous-decision victory over Danyelle Williams.

“A lot of people thought the fight against Brian (Heden) was stopped a bit prematurely, and so did Travis, so he granted a rematch,” Holt said.

Wiuff is Minnesota’s most experienced fighter, compiling more than 70 professional wins. He is a veteran of the UFC, Pride and Bellator.

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

“I’m beyond excited for this rematch,” Driller’s Jeremy Bjornberg said. “The fans wanted it, so we made it happen.”

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

“The local talent has been very popular in the first two No Mercy cards and that’s what really draws a good crowd,” Holt said. “The local fighters are also doing well in their fights.”

After his knockout win on the last Driller show in Detroit Lakes, Frazee standout Kyler Wegner returns to action against veteran Derek Smith.

Ranked heavyweight Matt Larson will be in action against veteran Bruce Nelson.

Other professionals committed to the card include Sean Casey, Corey Burton, Shannon Scott and Tye Ferguson.

Ben “The Ogre” Strandlien is putting his Driller 205-pound amateur title on the line this weekend in Thief River Falls.

If Strandlien wins, he will defend his belt in Detroit Lakes against local star Gemenie Strehlow of Lake Park-Audubon.

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

The event begins at 7  p.m. 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.