Almost a decade ago the world got to know Justin Wren through his successful mixed martial arts career in the UFC – from starring in the Spike reality show “The Ultimate Fighter,” to becoming a dominating force in the heavyweight division, to his MMA record of 15-2. Today, the world knows this 6-foot-3-inch, 265-pound fighter for the size of his heart.
Following a six-year struggle with addiction and depression in his early career, Justin stepped away from MMA to seek out purpose and passion for his life. What he found was a forgotten tribe of Mbuti Pygmies deep in the jungles of the Congo, beaten down by economic enslavement, disease, and hopelessness.
Through his Fight for the Forgotten initiative, 1,500 members of this formerly enslaved people group are now free and flourishing on 3,000 acres of their own land with access to clean water and their own farms.
“I still love MMA, and my work in the Congo didn’t change that,” he says. “But it did change me. I’m not fighting for myself anymore. I’m fighting to bring attention and change to those who don’t have a voice.”
A champion Greco-Roman wrestler, Justin's life changed when he traveled to Congo to help the Pygmies. This ethnic group, indigenous to Africa, is preyed upon by armed rebels, being killed, raped and even eaten. Having fought for himself as an MMA fighter for his entire life, Justin urges us to use the tools around us to fight for the forgotten.
Today Justin “The Big Pygmy” Wren has expanded his Fight for the Forgotten to empower all those who don’t have a voice. He regularly speaks to raise awareness for those affected by the water crisis, as well as those who are bullied, and those suffering from depression and addiction.
Fight for the Forgotten website:
Fight for the Forgotten: How a Mixed Martial Artist Stopped Fighting for Himself and Started Fighting for Others