Throwing down in the cage

At the two previous professional mixed martial arts events held in Dickinson, the ability to roll out of the roped ring helped save several grounded fighters from trouble and possible quick falls.

Jory Erickson
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Jory Erickson has a 4-0 record and has rented his own cage to Pound 'em Productions for tonight's Badlands Throwdown MMA event.

At the two previous professional mixed martial arts events held in Dickinson, the ability to roll out of the roped ring helped save several grounded fighters from trouble and possible quick falls.

That won't be the case anymore.

Pound 'em Productions -- the Dickinson promotions company that has organized two previous MMA events in town -- is bringing in the fan-adored hexagon cage, just like the one used in the UFC, for tonight's Badlands Throwdown.

The 10-fight card featuring Dickinson heavyweight Kylan Klauzer making his pro debut in the main event begins at 7 p.m. at the Dickinson Recreation Center.

Pound 'em promoter Mike Wilkinson believes the cage was a necessary addition if the company wants to continue drawing stronger fighters.


"You noticed in the previous fights, you've had some fighters wiggling their way out of the ring," Wilkinson said. "They stand 'em up. That doesn't benefit a ground fighter. In a cage, there's no wiggling out. If a guy gets pinned against a cage ..."

Well, he doesn't last too long.

While there are bound to be fights that don't last a full round, Wilkinson believes they have put together a card that could be the most entertaining yet.

Klauzer is the centerpiece of that card.

The former Dickinson State All-American football star, now a detective with the Dickinson Police Department, has politely declined interview requests leading up to his fight against Heart Roth.

Roth is a pro from Lino Lakes, Minn., with a 3-3 record who is coming off back-to-back first-round losses via submission.

Nonetheless, Wilkinson said the fan response from having Klauzer in the main event has been unprecedented.

Wilkinson said he's heard rumors of bus loads of people driving from Klauzer's hometown of Baker, Mont., to watch the fights. Pound 'em has sold six VIP tables to Baker businesses and individuals.


"It was a huge boost for us because we've wanted to have him fight since the beginning," Wilkinson said. "We had to jump through different city officials to make it happen."

While Klauzer's fight has Dickinson fans salivating, Wilkinson believes a recently organized bout between Montanan Jory Erickson and South Dakotan Matt DeWolfe has the potential to be the night's best.

Erickson, who is originally from Wolf Point, Mont., but fights out of Missoula, Mont., will be fighting in his own cage, which he rented to Pound 'em for the event.

Erickson was originally slated to fight Isaiah Larson at 185 pounds in the co-main event. But when Larson abruptly pulled out of the fight this week and Shane Deezee dropped out of his 205-pound bout against DeWolfe, Wilkinson asked if the two wouldn't mind fighting each other.

"They're renting my cage, so I figured I might as well have two paychecks instead of one," said Erickson, who added he's not concerned about moving up a weight class.

In addition to DeWolfe and Erickson, five other fighters who competed at either the Badlands Brawl or Badlands Beatdown are scheduled to fight tonight. They are Cole Ackerman, Jason Brown, Tyson Burris, Steve Elliott and Pat Schlosser.

Ackerman and Elliott, who appeared in both previous events, will fight each other for the first time at 180 pounds.

Another match between two fighters who will be competing in Dickinson for the first time, could have the makings of a big one, Wilkinson said.


Anthony Bartlett, a former DSU wrestler, will make his pro debut against Montana's Jake Oyler, who lost his pro debut to Lloyd Woodard -- the undefeated youngster from Missoula who beat Dickinson's Ryan Burwick via a technical knockout at the Badlands Beatdown -- in a three-round unanimous decision.

"You know Oyler is tough," Wilkinson said.

Badlands Throwdown

Tonight, 7 p.m.

At Dickinson Recreation Center

Doors open at 5 p.m. for beer gardens and a concert by Outlaw Sippin'

Fight card (subject to change)

Tyson Burris vs. Marshall Martin


Jason Brown vs. Jesse Brown

Justin Geobel vs. Zimmy Zimdars

Chris Hugh vs. Hollis Huggins

Anthony Bartlett vs. Jake Oyler

Steve Elliott vs. Cole Ackerman

Steven Schumacher vs. Brain Bloodsaw

Brandon Anderson vs. Bruce Nelson

Matt DeWolfe vs. Jory Erickson


Main event: Kylan Klauzer vs. Heath Roth

Tickets: $30 at the door

Matt DeWolfe
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Matt DeWolfe, from Rapid City, S.D., will fight unbeaten Jorey Erickson at the Badlands Throwdown tonight.

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