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Tom Mix, Published April 18 2013

Ramberg, 23, of Harwood looks to continue his climb in Mixed Martial Arts


Some of the biggest fights of Cameron Ramberg’s young mixed martial arts career have happened close to home, and his bout on Saturday will be no different.

Ramberg, who is from Harwood, N.D., and a 2008 graduate of West Fargo High School, is defending his 145-pound Dakota Fighting Championships featherweight title against Matt Veal of Thunder Bay, Ont.

The Ramberg-Veal

five-round matchup is the main event of DFC’s Spring Brawl set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Scheels Arena. A total of eight fights will be featured on the event’s card. Ramberg, 23, said his fight with Veal has the potential to be the fight of the night.

“It is going to be a brawl,” Ramberg said. “Neither of us is going to give up. We are both

well-rounded fighters. It is going to be a long fight.”

Ramberg, who is 7-0 and won his DFC 145-pound title belt in his last fight in January, has a wrestling background, competing six years on the West Fargo varsity squad. He was a state finalist at 130 pounds his senior year in 2008.

A back injury kept Ramberg from wrestling in college, but his competitive drive never left. A friend, who was training at Fargo’s Academy of Combat Arts turned Ramberg onto MMA, and he immediately began training.

Within a few months, he was preparing for his first fight as a sophomore in college.

“Starting out I was a wrestler trying to fight, and now, over the last three years, I have adapted so much,” said Ramberg, who attended Concordia and Minnesota State Moorhead. “My ground game is no longer just wrestling. My jiu-jitsu and boxing have improved. I’m quite a different fighter than I was three years ago.”

His fast rise has led Ramberg to fight Veal, a former fighter for Bellator Fighting Championships – the nation’s second-largest MMA promotion.

“Picking up the belt and then expecting two months later to defend it is sort of unheard of,” Ramberg said of fighting Veal, who has a 10-8 career record. “But it is a fight we were looking for. He has an excellent resume and has fought a lot of tough guys.

“That’s why we took this fight two months after another fight so we can keep moving,” Ramberg added.

The quick turnaround is OK with DFC Spring Brawl promoter Jon Hegre, who prefers showcasing local fighters at events.

The DFC Spring Brawl is the first of a four-event agreement with Scheels Arena. Ramberg putting up his title against an experienced fighter in Veal is something Hegre hopes draws a big audience.

“We were really happy to get a quality opponent for Cameron Ramberg,” Hegre said. “Cameron is such a great role model and hard worker coming out of West Fargo. It is fun to do these events, and it is even more fun when you can stay within the community and promote younger, up-and-coming fighters.

“I think a lot of people would like us to have a big name, but we would rather build local talent and promote that way,” Hegre added. “We have sent 15 fighters onto higher organizations.”

Ramberg said he’ll have a large number of family and friends at the event, which he hopes continues his movement up on the MMA competition ladder.

“It is pretty crazy to be my age and be in the main event pulling fights like this in a sport where guys are in their prime in their late 20s early 30s,” Ramberg said. “I’m 7-0, but I have a lot of tough fights ahead to get to where I want to be.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562