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UPDATE: Kiser off life support, talking, beating all odds Print E-mail
Written by Ben Pherson   
Friday, 30 May 2014 11:06

Wisconsin resident and Minnesota-trained Dan "The King" Kiser is off life support, improving daily and doing better than his doctors ever could have predicted.

"Daniel's neurologist was in today and he looked at him and said, 'this guy is just amazing,'" Dan Kiser Sr. said. "The neurologist said if you had asked last Monday if Daniel would be where he's at now, he would have said he had a zero percent change of doing this well."

Kiser is now awake, coherent and able to answer the questions asked of him. Best of all, Kiser is now talking.

"His voice is a little raspy because of the trachea injury, but he answers everything and you can understand him; it's amazing," Dan Sr. said.

Each day, Kiser seems to improve, according to his father. There have been small setbacks, but nothing major has derailed Kiser's recovery.

The injuries to his neck also are healing. Kiser is feeling pain in his legs, which Dan Sr. said is a good sign.

"I think the thing that's tough now is we're still piecing everything together," Dan Sr. said. "When Daniel arrived here, he was

battling so many different injuries, it was tough to pinpoint what was causing what. They didn't know what to focus on. Like we said, it's a puzzle and we're slowly fixing each piece of the puzzle.


"While Dan is improving, this is still a long process. Once he's healthy, he faces months and months of physical therapy and rehab. But, you know, MMA training is tough, too. Daniel is a fighter."

Kiser also is off sedation for the most part, too, which is a good sign that doctors feel his brain injuries are healing.

"I think as we get Daniel off more and more of the medication, get his system cleaned out, he'll feel better and better," Dan Sr. said. "It seems like we've said this before, but in about 7-10 days, I think we'll have a clearer picture."

The support shown from the MMA community in Minnesota and beyond has been overwhelming to the Kiser family, according to Dan Sr. A fund has been set up to help the family pay for Kiser's medical bills. A link to that fund is available here. As of Friday afternoon, more than $5,500 had been raised in a little over 24 hours.

"It just amazes us how many lives Daniel has touched; it's truly, truly amazing to our family," Daniel Sr. said. "We will never have the words to truly express our gratitude. Honestly, we want to give a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has prayed for Daniel, not just those who have donated. The support has been amazing."

Kiser was injured during a non-title fight last Saturday in Detroit Lakes, Minn., during a co-promoted (Impact, Driller) MMA event entitled "No Mercy II." Kiser fought Frankie Johnson in the night's main event. It was scheduled to be a 145-title fight, but Johnson missed weight, so Kiser retained his Impact title.

Early in the fight, Johnson landed a left hand that rocked Kiser. But he recovered quickly, which is commonplace for the always-tough Kiser. He shot for a blast-double and took Johnson to the mat. After some ground-and-pound, Kiser stood up and looked to rain down punches on the grounded Johnson. But Johnson landed a couple of up-kicks. After the second up-kick landed, Kiser was visibly stunned and a scramble ensued. Kiser grabbed on to Johnson's leg and looked for a kneebar.

After a few moments, Kiser's body went limp. It did not appear that Johnson landed any other significant strikes. Johnson latched on to a rear-naked choke and the ref quickly noticed Kiser was unresponsive and stopped the fight.

After Johnson let go of the choke, Kiser did not wake up. He stopped breathing momentarily, but was breathing again when he was put in the ambulance. He was taken to a local hospital and then was moved to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, where he remains today. Kiser suffered a traumatic brain injury and a tracheal collapse during the fight, along with damage to his vertebrae.

Kiser entered Saturday's fight 12-3 as a professional. He's No. 3 at 145 pounds in the MNMMANEWS Unified Rankings. He had won six consecutive fights entering Saturday and 12 of his past 13.

Kiser is one of the most-loved fighters in Minnesota, known for being an incredible person and an exciting fighter. Since his injuries, 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.