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Mark, left, and Ethan Niemala of Wadena's STOMP Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness won last Friday in North Star Combat competition at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen. Mark claimed a second round victory over Zach Jackson of Bemidji. Ethan was a second round winner by TKO over Bemidji's James Rojas III. Photo courtesy of Sandy Hackenmueller, Fight to Finish Photography

Niemala brothers triumph at Shooting Star Casino

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Brothers Mark and Ethan Niemala posted victories last Friday in North Star Combat competition at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen.


Mark, who hails from Wadena, defeated Zach Jackson of Bemidji in a 145-pound match. Niemala was down on the mat when he used an arm bar to subdue Jackson in the mixed martial arts fight.

The victory gave Niemala a 2-0 record MMA competition.

Ethan, who lives in New York Mills, came up with his first victory as a 135-pounder when he defeated Bemidji's James Rojas III in the second round. Niemala used a flying knee to score a technical knockout (TKO).

A crowd of 1,000 fans watched the North Star Combat event which included 11 MMA matches.

Jeremy and Connie Umland of the Wadena gym have national MMA bouts coming up.

Jeremy is set to go against Nevada MMA fighter Charles Williams Aug. 18 in Mesquite, Nev. The two men will be battling on HD Net, Pay-Per-View and an Internet audience in the Tuff-N-Uff competition for the amateur world super heavyweight title.

Connie will face Staicee Karppin of Michigan Aug. 4 in a King of the Cage competition at Northern Lights Casino in Walker. The 150-pound fight will be watched on HD Net and Pay-Per-View.

Brian Hansel
(218) 631-2561