Pontoon Beach, IL (KSDK) - A large crowd turned out Saturday night for a tribute to Dustin "Duddy" Pierson.
A memorial fight took place for Pierson at his former gym. CMMA Fighting Systems Gym owner Steve Knogl said when Pierson was killed in a motorcycle crash last year, he was nearing the top of his career in mixed martial arts, and getting ready to turn pro.
To honor his memory the Fight Night took place in the newly named Pierson Memorial Pavilion. Knogl said Pierson was tough, fearless, and goal-oriented. And he hopes this attention introduces people to a side of fighting they may not be familiar with.
"Maybe a little less that people who are into fighting are always that violent," said Knogl. "You're going to see good sportsmanship out here. You're going to see people that are emotional out here. You're going to see people that got in good shape and threw themselves into this just because they wanted to honor Duddy's memory. And I think that's going to make an impression on people maybe that don't get around fighting that often."
Knogl said Pierson's family is donating a CMMA training scholarship to the winning amateur fighter at Saturday's event.