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The ‘No Mercy’ card is Saturday

Frazee’s Kyler Wegner practices his striking techniques with LAB’s trainer and former pro boxer Chris Holt. Wegner will be fighting in his second pro MMA fight Saturday inside Kent Freeman Arena. BRIAN BASHAM/TRIBUNE

There will be “No Mercy” shown Saturday inside the Kent Freeman Sports Arena, as the first Mixed Martial Arts fight card to be held in Detroit Lakes in eight years will take place.

The card will be stock full of local fighters, including Frazee’s Brian Heden, Zach Sullinger and Kyler Wegner, all of Hornet wrestling ilk.

Although all the Frazee MMA fighters have a heavy wrestling background and use it as their base in their matches, each has been diversifying their skills to make them each a much more dangerous opponent.

The nine-bout fight card, which is being brought by Lakes Area Boxing Club, in conjunction with Full Nelson Promotions, will be a Pro-Am event, with the feature bout pitting Heden, who is the No. 4 ranked heavyweight in the state, against South Minneapolis’ Shane Dezee, who brings in a record of 15-20.

Heden’s record is 26-12, with 16 knockouts and two wins by submission.

“I know I have to be smart with him, even though he has a 15-20 record,” Heden said. “His record doesn’t mean a thing, because he has been up and down with his weight and has fought some very good fighters.”

Out of Dezee’s 15 wins, 13 have come by submission and two by knockout.

“He either wins or loses in the first two minutes of the fight,” Heden said. “I’ll have to be aggressive early and keep moving and don’t let him in on me. His striking is bad, so I am pretty confident I can end the fight early.”

Heden has already made a good name for himself in the MMA fighting world and is looking to keep climbing the ranks, starting Saturday in front of the home crowd.

“It feels good having a card back in Detroit Lakes, it’s been eight years since I’ve fought here and that was against Dan ‘The Beast’ Severn (in which Heden lost by decision).”

Wegner will be fighting in his second pro MMA match, after he lost his first one by knockout in Fargo, Jan. 26.

He was 3-0 as an amateur fighter.

But with the loss came some learning for Wegner, who also excelled as a Hornet wrestler and is now an assistant coach on the team.

“I’ve wrestled all my life, so I am more comfortable taking my opponent down to the ground,” Wegner said. “But my striking is so much better now, since I’ve been working with (former pro boxer and LAB trainer) Chris Holt.”

His opponent will be Davonte Nunn of Alexandria, who is a stand-up fighter.

“He likes to kick and likes to fight standing up,” Wegner said. “Obviously, I would like to get into a wrestling situation and get him to the ground.”

Sullinger, who also has donned the Hornet green singlet during his high school days, will be fighting in his fourth amateur MMA match and holds an impressive 3-0 mark.

He will be fighting Corey Ulmer of Fargo, who also boasts a 3-0 record.

“Someone is going to be taking their first loss, hopefully it’s not me,” Sullinger said. “I use a lot of wrestling during my matches, but have also been using Ju-Jitsu, too.

“My striking needs some work, yet, but Chris (Holt) has been helping a lot.”

The event was the brainchild of Holt’s, who has helped promote other boxing cards, including at Shooting Star.

But with the rise of MMA’s popularity, he decided to pursue a local event and will help Full Nelson Promotions put on a good show.

Holt has also been helping train all three fighters, especially in striking.

“I teach them they need to be 100-percent focused, because sometimes young fighters get pretty star-struck,” Holt said. “They all have been training hard and are ready for Saturday.

“A success for me Saturday will be a great show will be put on and everybody will enjoy the show.”

Other fights include: Kody Sorenson versus Chris Renwick; Casey Luken vs. Jake Eagan, Dustin Schwint vs. Aaron Bohn; Jeff Ferraro vs. Greg Zaits and Ben Anderson vs. Antonio Dvorack.

Floor tickets will be $25 in advance and $30 at the door, while general admission will be $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

For tickets, call 218-298-2413 or pick them up at B.J.’s Barbeque, Holiday Inn, Big John’s Gym, Bleachers or Callaway Liquor Store.

There also will be a raffle benefitting LAB.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and fights start at 7:30 p.m.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.