How did Dane Sayers die? Body of MMA fighter, 33, found in Red River in Fargo
Dane Sayers, a professional mixed martial artist, fighting out of Moorhead in Fargo, North Dakota, died at age of 33. An impressive athlete, Dane’s record as a professional MMA combatant is an impressive 12-4. He was also a contestant on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ season 12 in 2010 — a mixed martial arts reality television series.
“It is with a heavy heart we announce the tragic passing of Dane Sayers,” a family member said in a statement. “Nicknamed ‘Red Horse’ for his proud Native roots, Dane is known to combat sports around the world for his successful mixed martial arts career.”
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How did Dane Sayers die?
As per reports, the MMA fighter's body was pulled by authorities from the Red River near Riverside Cemetery in south Fargo on Saturday, June 5, after some kayakers found him. An autopsy has been performed, although the results have not been made public. A local radio station tweeted: "BREAKING: Fargo Police say 33-year-old Dane Sayers was the man pulled from the Red River Saturday, June 5th. Sayers was a professional MMA Fighter out of Moorhead. An autopsy has been performed, and results are pending #wdaynewsfirst."
Bonnie Sayers, the MMA fighter’s mother, said however that authorities have informed the family that her son's death has been ruled an accidental drowning. Speaking with the press, she said that her son loved to search riverbanks for driftwood, which he gave away to a variety of people who would use the gift for everything from creating works of art to adorning wedding venues. She added that sometimes, her son would make driftwood sculptures of his own and leave them along trails near the river to surprise and delight hikers.
According to his father Dale Sayers, Dane was proud of his Native American heritage — he said that his son is both Blackfeet and Chippewa. Sane was also an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe. His name “Red Horse”, was given to him by Chief Earl Old Person of the Blackfeet Nation.
BREAKING: Fargo Police say 33-year-old Dane Sayers was the man pulled from the Red River Saturday, June 5th. Sayers was a professional MMA Fighter out of Moorhead. An autopsy has been performed, and results are pending #wdaynewsfirst— AM 1100 The Flag WZFG (@theflagwzfg) June 7, 2021
Dylan Spicer, who for a time coached Dane at the Academy of Combat Arts in Fargo, said the dead athlete was a good man who was also very tough. "He was a really nice guy, so I don't know that intimidating is the right word, but on the mat, he was like a tank. He was hard to move," Spicer said, adding that Dane never got hurt in a sport where injuries are very common.
In addition to MMA, Dane had other interests as well. "He loved to play chess. He loved to play Scrabble," Bonnie said, adding that her son once played chess with Georges St-Pierre, a Canadian former professional mixed martial artist. Dane reportedly bested St-Pierre at the game and the latter gave him a chessboard.
"He was really charming. He was handsome. He was funny. When he smiled, it would just light up a room,” Bonnie said. "We're going to spend our life making sure his memory is always kept alive," she added. A celebration of life for Dane Sayers is planned for June 25.