A mixed martial arts fighter critically injured in a fight last month is steadily improving after receiving a grim initial prognosis.
The Fargo Forum reports that friends and family of Dan Kiser Jr. organized a day-long benefit Sunday in Fargo to help defray his medical costs, with a pancake breakfast in the morning, a spaghetti dinner in the evening and music, a comedy show, motorcycle ride, chili cook-off and silent auction in between.
Kiser's father, Dan Kiser, Sr., lives in Fargo. He told the newspaper that the family was initially told that the young fighter wouldn’t make it through the night after he was knocked out in a May 24 Detroit Lakes fight. The 27-year-old father of two suffered a traumatic brain injury and collapsed wind pipe. He was in a coma for 10 days.
"His neurologist, who did the three brain surgeries, told the family he now has the nickname ‘The Mini Miracle’ because they believe they should be talking about my son in the past tense,” Kiser Sr. told the newspaper. He said his son’s physical condition and training have helped him recuperate.
KVRR in Fargo reported that the fighter's father said he remains in the intensive care unit at a Fargo hospital and has over a year of intensive rehab ahead of him. Dan Kiser, Sr. told the station that his son probably will never fight again. WDAY added that he recently walked for the first time with the help of a walker and nurse.
MnMMA News, a website devoted to mixed martial arts fighting in Minnesota, said that Kiser currently lives in Wisconsin and trains at Spartan Martial Arts in Oakdale. The site has chronicled Kiser's recovery. "Kiser is one of the most-loved fighters in Minnesota, known for being an incredible person and an exciting fighter," the site noted, adding that "...the Minnesota MMA community has shown a great deal of support, with many fighters, fans and friends changing their Facebook profile pictures to images of Kiser."
A GoFundMe fundraising website has been set up to continue to raise money for Kiser. As of Monday morning, evening, the site had raised $10,320.
Mixed martial arts, known among fans and fighters as MMA, is described as a full-contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground. It is derived from a variety of combat sports and involves the use of martial arts such as kickboxing, judo, and karate.