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Five Wadena fighters claim MMA victories

Wadena's Mark Niemala gained a split decision despite being on the bottom at this point in his three-round cage fight Jan. 19 with Brainerd's Mike Larson. Niemala, who improved his amateur record to 3-0, also earned "Fight of the Night" honors. Photo by Zach Kayser, Pioneer Journal

Five of six Wadena Mixed Martial Arts fighters claimed victories Jan. 19 in the Cage Fighting Extreme 43 contest at the Wadena National Guard Armory.

A standing-room-only crowd was on hand for the contest's seven fights.

Winger's Casey Lucken, who will soon be joining the Wadena team, according to Wadena Coach Joe Jasicki, won by knockout over Joel Wales of St. Cloud. Lucken also won "Knockout of the Night" honors.

Fikret Saric of Wadena punished Thief River Falls' Sabestian Groo in their 140 pound fight. Saric won by technical knockout when one of his blows broke two of Groo's teeth.

Mark Niemala of the Wadena team defeated Mike Larson of Brainerd on a three-round split decision in their 145-pound match. Niemala improved his record to 3-0. Niemala also won "Fight of the Night" honors.

"That was a fight that could have gone either way," Jasicki said.

Wadena's Joel Snyder lost to Brainerd's Jesse Hernandez in their 155-pound fight. Hernandez used a rear naked choke to score his first round victory.

Wadena fighter Justin Matthiesen defeated 155-pound foe Dale Walters of Rochester in the first round when the referee stopped the contest to protect Walters from the pummeling Matthiesen was delivering.

Tony Houn of Wadena claimed a first round TKO due to strikes over St. Cloud's David Escamilla in their 160-pound fight.

Wadena heavyweight Will Ewertson faced Iowa MMA fighter Cody Keifer and won a first round decision when Keifer signaled surrender by tapping the floor.

"It was an absolutely awesome turnout," Jasicki said. "It got to the point where there were no seats left and the bleachers were full."

Jasicki has accepted a fight for one of his fighters, Jerdan "Dolph" Stinar, in a cage fighting contest Feb. 2 in St. Cloud.

Jasicki has Stinar and Wadena MMA fighter Jesse Wannemacher ready to go in the upcoming MMA tournament. Stinar's tournament fight has not been determined. Wannemacher will compete at the end of March in Brainerd.

Wadena has been accepted as an MMA tournament site, based on the success of the Jan. 19 contest. Jasicki expects the tournament contest to take place in mid-June.

Wadena Cage Fighting Extreme 43 Results

130: Casey Lucken (Winger) over Joel Wales (St. Cloud) first round knock out

140 Fikret Saric (Wadena) over Sabestian Groo (Thief River Falls) first round TKO

145: Mark Niemala (Wadena) split decision over Mike Larson (Brainerd)

155: Jesse Hernandez (Brainerd) over Joel Snyder (Wadena) first round naked choke

155: Justin Matthiesen (Wadena) over Dale Walters (Rochester) first round due to strikes

160: Tony Houn (Wadena) over David Escamilla (St. Cloud) first round TKO

Hwt: Will Ewertson (Wadena) over Cody Keifer (Iowa) first round tap out due to strikes