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Benefit for MMA fighter from Detroit Lakes on Sunday

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Benefit for MMA fighter from Detroit Lakes on Sunday
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Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - A mixed martial arts fighter who grew up in Detroit Lakes was fighting his way up the ranks - until tragedy struck.

Dan Kiser, Jr. is rehabbing at Sanford, after he suffered a traumatic brain injury during a recent fight.

Now, supporters are stepping up to help the father of two in the fight of his life.

Less than a month ago, doctors told Dan Kiser, Sr. his son had a 10% chance of surviving the next 48 hours.

The news came after Dan Kiser, Jr. had been critically injured during an MMA fight in Detroit Lakes.

But the fighter nicknamed 'The King' is defying the odds.

They call him Dan "The King" Kiser, an MMA fighter who grew up in Detroit Lakes.

At 27 years old, the 145-pound champion's career was on an upward climb.

Dan Kiser Sr./Dan Jr.’s Father: "He was one or two fights away from making it to Bellator, doing well there, and moving on to the UFC. But life had a different option for him."

At a fight in Detroit Lakes May 24th, Dan suffered a traumatic brain injury and damage to his trachea - after his family says he had a stroke during the fight.

His father, Dan Kiser Sr. was watching.

Kiser: "The way he hit the canvas, I knew something was wrong other than what was going on in the fight. I jumped up to run to his corner, and at that time his coach had already seen his eyes roll back in his head and he was screaming for the fight to be stopped."

Doctors told the family Dan had a 10% chance of surviving the next 48 hours - and would never walk or talk again.

He was in a coma for 10 days, and underwent a list of procedures including three brain surgeries.

Kiser: "We were facing life without my son."

But Dan - a father of two little girls - is shattering expectations.

Less than a month after his injury, he has walked for the first time with the help of a walker and nurse.

While his voice will never be the same, his athletic training and physical shape has helped him recover - but he still has major hurdles to overcome.

Kiser: "Dan is a fighter and he's fighting the fight of his life."

This Sunday, supporters have organized an all-day benefit for Dan, his fiancé and two daughters.

They'll have silent auction items including NDSU memorabilia, autographed MMA posters, and autographed hockey pucks from the Minnesota Wild.

It all starts at 8 a.m. at The Hub.

For more information, visit

Becky Parker

Becky Parker - Becky Parker joined the WDAY 6 News team in July of 2012. She was born and raised in Williston, North Dakota.  She graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in political science.   At NDSU, Becky served as News Director for ‘SU TV News, the university’s first ever student-run newscast. She was also an anchor and reporter for the organization.   Before coming to WDAY, Becky was reporting for Lakeland Public Television at their Brainerd, MN bureau. She also spent internship hours at WDAZ in Grand Forks and KVRR Fox in Fargo.   If you have story ideas or questions, please e-mail Becky at

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