(EDITOR'S NOTE: Each week Minnesota standout amateur fighter Nick "The Inspiration" Palmer is given a free pass to write about any topic, and he provides Minnesota MMA fans with an inside look into the world of fighting. Enjoy "Words of Inspiration.")
Minnesota MMA standout Dan "The King" Kiser was severely injured in a non-title fight in Detroit Lakes, Minn., last May 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 remained for weeks. Kiser suffered a traumatic brain injury and a tracheal collapse during the fight, along with damage to his vertebrae.
The injuries left him in a coma. Kiser had many setbacks, but he kept fighting and he's now on the road to recovery. He still has a long way to go with therapy, but the King is getting better and better every day.
We caught up with Kiser to find out his thoughts on the tragic event and exactly what the future holds for the King.
How long were you in a coma? What is it like being in a coma? Is it just black and you don’t remember anything or did you have any weird dreams?
KISER: I was in a coma for like seven days. I don't remember anything. Just black. People say you see the light or have these crazy dreams, you don't. Just black.
Did you experience any kind of near-death experience, like seeing God or angels?
KISER: I did see God. I don't remember, but I guess when I woke up out of my coma I said I met him. And the weird thing is I talked about