Dickinson fighters starting careers wellNeither Landon Leiss nor Matthew Marsh ever considered themselves impressive athletes in their high school days.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Neither Landon Leiss nor Matthew Marsh ever considered themselves impressive athletes in their high school days.
Yet, both Dickinson natives are off to impressive starts in their mixed martial arts careers.
Leiss, 25, and Marsh, 26, each take 2-0 records into Saturday’s Boomtown Brawl 3, a 10-fight professional MMA card produced by Pound ’em Productions and scheduled for a 7 p.m. opening bell at the Dickinson Recreation Center.
Marsh dabbled in several sports at Dickinson Trinity High School. Leiss was primarily a hockey player at Dickinson High School.
“I was pretty aggressive when I played hockey,” Leiss said. “I’ve just always had the drive to compete. I’m pretty competitive. I like to compete.”
Leiss goes so hard that is preparing for his second fight in two weeks.
He is scheduled to face Tyler Vivier 185-pound bout. On Sept. 8, at Impact Fight Championship: Quest in Bismarck, Leiss claimed a first-round victory over Albert Kuntz with a submission via rear-naked chokehold in just 62 seconds.
He beat Justin Klauzer on Sept. 24, 2011, at Boomtown Brawl 2 in Dickinson for his first professional victory.
“The Klauzer fight, it was my first fight so it was just kind of getting in there and learning stuff,” Leiss said. “My second fight, I really got to show my skills. This third fight, I’m hoping to show some more of my skills I haven’t got to show yet.”
Leiss and Marsh both hold full-time jobs. Leiss owns and operates a moving company and Marsh works for Nabors Industries as a derrickhand.
Because their primary paychecks don’t come from the job they do inside the cage, both men train when they have time.
“When I’m working on the rigs the weeks I’m at work, I get up two hours to three hours before I have to go to work to go lift,” Marsh said. “On my days off, I train for four to five hours a day.”
Marsh, who is 6-foot-2 and fights at 155 pounds, has to cut about 15 pounds for his fight against Joseph McMillen.
“You’ve got to understand that the weight cut is the worse thing about the whole deal,” Marsh said. “You’ve got to really put work into it.”
Marsh hasn’t fought since Boomtown Brawl 2, where he picked up a 45-second submission by chokehold against Travis Hoffman.
He hopes to pick up more fights with M.A.X. Fights, a training and production company in Fargo, where Marsh lives.
But, he said he won’t turn down opportunities to fight in front of his hometown, his friends and, especially, his family.
“Everybody in Dickinson likes to see a hometown fighter,” Marsh said.