Before Mark Dickman graduated from Hannibal High School in 2002, he was a member of the Pirates’ wrestling team. After graduating, he watch a mixed martial arts (MMA) match on television and thought he could compete with the athletes he saw.
“The first time I watched UFC, I watched like one fight and I thought it was cool, but I was really into wrestling in college,” Dickman said. “The first real fight I watched was UFC 84 when Sean Sherk and B.J. Penn fought for a title. I was like man, I can compete with these guys, I can do this. That is when the dream kind of changed and I started to make the shift over from wrestling to MMA.”
Dickman wasn’t wrong. Not only did he compete, but he has also won, going 12-0 as an amateur before turning professional.
Dickman was back in his home state of Missouri Saturday night for a professional fight. With over 100 friends and family at the match to cheer him on, Dickman did not disappoint. The Hannibal product beat his opponent in the first round to improve his professional record to 8-1.
“There was a lot of support from the Hannibal area,” Dickman said. “The support was for me and Tyler Perry. We both wrestled and went to Hannibal. We are teammates now and roommates. We had a lot of support, probably 125 people were there.”
Dickman enjoyed being able to fight in front of his friends and family.
“It means a lot to come back here and show off all the hard work we have been putting in,” Dickman said. “I haven’t fought in St. Louis since my amateur career. Sometimes it is hard to get back here and fight here.”
Dickman and Perry both fought at the Chaifetz Arena in the Warriors for Heros, MMA vs. PTSD matches. Dickman beat his opponent in the featherweight division (145 pound weight class) by TKO in the first round while Perry won in the first round when his opponent was disqualified.
“I got the technical knockout at the end of the first round,” Dickman said. “I got out of there pretty quick and didn’t take any damage. So it was pretty good.”
 While he doesn’t know when his next match will be, Dickman said there were some possibilities in the works.
“It depends,” Dickman said of how often a fight is scheduled. “If you lose and get hurt, you are probably not going to fight a lot. If you keep winning, you could probably fight three to four times a year. This was my third fight and something could pop up in December, so that could be four. I am on a roll right now, so we will see.  
“There have been talks,” Dickman continued. “But nothing has been finalized. No contracts have been signed.”