The MMA-styled event will take place August 14th at the West Fargo Veterans Memorial Arena


FARGO, ND (KVRR) – A training session in 80 degree heat didn’t slow anyone down. The adrenaline kept rushing. With the event these fighters are gearing up for in three weeks, it’s easy to understand the excitement building.

“We’ve had a bunch of eager fighters here looking to get back in the cage,” said Dylan Spicer, Head Coach at Fargo Academy of Arts. “With NFA coming to town, it’s real exciting. We’re looking forward to it.

Minnesota-based promotion company, North Star combat, is putting on its first ever fight at Veterans Memorial Arena in West Fargo on August 14th, an event of its kind the area hasn’t seen in quite some time.

“All my friends and family get to be here and it’s pretty much in our backyard and all the support is right here rather than having to travel a long way,” said Mana Lemaire, a Grand Forks native.

Lemaire grew up in Grand Forks and has been training at the Academy of Combat Arts in Fargo for about a year and a half. He’s been in trial runs up to now. But this will be his first pro fight and with it, he feels compelled to rise up.

“It means I really got to put on a good performance, try my absolute hardest and throw it all out there for sure,” Lemaire said.

He is one of a few local fighters on the card. Chris Thiel is another. The Wahpeton native wrestled in high school and was an All-Conference champion in 2017. Today, he’s a rising senior at NDSU who’s proud to wear the Green and Yellow in three weeks when he makes his MMA debut.

“Fighting in front of your home crowd, there’s always something to prove that you’re the toughest guy out,” Thiel, said. “Everyone at school, everyone in my program knows that I’m fighting. I think there’s 30 of us in my program and I think a good majority of them are coming and a bunch of other friends, too.”

While Thiel and others don’t have to travel far, but it’s a homecoming for others. Tat Romero, and Jake Berens, are all on the card and are all from Fargo.

“It’s been so long since we had a show in Fargo,” Spicer said. “I think there’s going to be a really good buzz about it.”

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