FD cage fighter facing felonies

A Fort Dodge cage fighter is facing felony charges after he allegedly fractured a man’s skull and stole his wallet.

Kyle M. Mericle, 20, is charged with first-degree robbery, a Class B felony, and first-degree theft, a Class C felony.

Mericle allegedly punched Steven Hardisty, 23, in the head, causing a cut on his lip, fracturing his skull and knocking him unconscious on Aug. 15, according to the criminal complaint.

After Hardisty was knocked unconscious, Mericle allegedly stole his wallet.

The incident happened near First Avenue North and North 14th Street, Fort Dodge police said. They responded to a call about an unconscious man laying on the ground at about 4:30 p.m. that day.

Hardisty was taken to Trinity Regional Medical Center and treated for his injuries before being transported to a Des Moines area hospital.

He is in stable condition and his injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, according to a Police Department press release.

The criminal complaint said Mericle was not provoked.

The cage fighter has a 4-2-0 record, according to mixedmartialarts.com.

The site, which tracks mixed martial arts fights across the country, said Mericle has officially fought seven times since April 2013.

He said in Webster County Magistrate Court Thursday that he earns $1,000 per fight.

His last fight was in May of this year.

Mericle is being held on $35,000 bond.

His preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 29.