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Former TUF contestant Dane Sayers dies at 33

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Valor BK YouTube: Valor Bare Knuckle (VBK1) Dane Sayers vs Joshua Dyer

Dane Sayers, a former contestant on The Ultimate Fighter, has died.

Sayers, who competed on season 12 of the UFC’s reality show died unexpectedly over the weekend at the age of 33 in his hometown of Fargo, N.D..

“It is with a heavy heart we announce the tragic passing of Dane Sayers,” said in a statement sent to MMA Fighting.

“Nicknamed ‘Red Horse’ for his proud Native roots, Dane is known to combat sports around the world for his successful mixed martial arts career. Dane’s record as a professional MMA combatant is an impressive 12-4. He was introduced to the larger MMA world with his participation on The Ultimate Fighter 12 in 2010.”

The cause of death is currently unknown, but local radio station WZFG released that Sayers was pulled from the Red River in Fargo, but details from the autopsy have not been released.

Sayers went 1-1 during his TUF season—where he was coached by Georges St-Pierre—earning a submission win over Ariel Sexton before dropping a decision to Sako Chivitchian to knock him out of the tournament. Following his appearance on the show, Sayers went 5-3 over his final eight mixed martial arts bouts, his last taking place in April 2018 at LFA 38.

In what would be his final fight on record, Sayers entered the world of bare-knuckle boxing and competed on Ken Shamrock’s inaugural Valor BK event in September 2019, losing via first-round TKO to Josh Dyer.

Sayers began his professional mixed martial arts career with seven straight wins, which helped him earn his spot on TUF.