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Published December 13, 2010, 10:56 PM

'Winter Brawl' Brings MMA to Grand Forks

A caged ring, two fighters and few rules. It's called mixed martial arts and it drew thousands to the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Fighters like Chris Tuchsherer and Brock Lesnar are getting more people in the area interested.

A caged ring, two fighters, and few rules. It's a strange lifestyle, but Chris Tuchsherer is getting used to it.

"I wrestled for NDSU, and I decided to do a small show one time. And all or a sudden I loved it and I kept doing it." Tushcherer says. "About four years into it my dream of becoming a UFC fighter came true, I got the call.

Tuchsherer has made friends with former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who was a special guest at the Winter Brawl. Lesnar showed his "kind side", by signing autographs for hundreds of fans at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Friday.

The popularity of Mixed Martial Arts is at an all-time high. And why not, being a fan is the easy part. But the increase in fighters is a bit more surprising. Who actually enjoys getting beat up?

"It's the total excitement of being locked in that cage with another fighter and it's all up to you," Butch Hajicek said.

"You meet a lot of characters in this sport. A lot of people are really different when it comes to MMA fighters. A lot of people fight for different reasons," Dane Sayers said.