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Body of MMA fighter Dane Sayers found in Red River in Fargo

Police have not said how he died.
Dane Sayers

The body of a mixed martial arts fighter from Fargo, North Dakota, was found in the Red River over the weekend. 

Fargo police identified the body that was pulled from the river on Saturday as 33-year-old Dane Sayers. Police said they responded to a report of a body found in the river at 2:20 p.m. near the 2100 block of 5th Street South, near Riverside Cemetery, in Fargo.

Police have not said how Sayers died, noting an autopsy has been performed but they're awaiting results and the investigation is ongoing. 

His mom, Bonnie Sayers, told Forum News Service officials have ruled his death an accidental drowning.

Sayers, who was born in Moorhead and grew up in West Fargo, loved to search the riverbanks for driftwood, which he'd give away to people to use for gifts and creating art, his mom told the publication.

The MMA fighter began his career in about 2008 with seven straight wins, helping him earn a spot on Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter series in 2010, where he went 1-1, MMA Fighting says

His final MMA fight was in April 2018, ending his career with 12 wins and four losses. His last fight on record was a bare-knuckle boxing match in September 2019 — he lost in a first-round knockout, MMA Fighting adds. 

Sayer was known as "Red Horse," a nod to his Native American roots for which he was proud, the publication says. The nickname was given to Sayer by Chief Earl Old Person of the Blackfeet Nation (he was both Blackfeet and Chippewa, and was an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe, his family told Forum News Service).

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In addition to his MMA career, his family told Forum News Service he worked in IT support throughout his life, loved to play chess and Scrabble, and was funny and charming. 

A celebration of Sayers' life is planned for June 25, his mom said. Details about the event haven't been announced. 

Meanwhile, those who knew him are sharing their memories on social media. 

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