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From UFC Fighter → Pygmy Protector

Updated: Oct 24, 2020

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.

“It’s cheaper to let them die.”

This was just some of the messaging that Justin heard while trekking into the depths of the Congo. The Pygmy’s desperately needed protection from enslavement, access to basic needs like food and water, and someone to believe in them. The rest of the world was too busy to notice these forgotten people — but not Justin. Naturally, Justin became that beacon of hope for these people through his frequent visits to their villages and through his authentic mission to defeat hate with love.

But Justin also learned as much living with the Pygmy people as they learned from him. He learned that gratitude can be found in the most remote places on the planet and that we as human beings all have a longing to be loved and accepted by our community.

Building wells was just one of the ways Justin was able to transform the Pygmy quality of life. He also continues to help empower the Pygmy people financially to purchase more of their own land so that they can grow their own food, rather than to be enslaved for two bananas a day for all their work.

Since 2011, Justin and Fight for the Forgotten have provided nearly 3,000 acres of land and dozens of water wells to the Pygmies. Not only are they no longer slaves, they’re thriving, with Pygmy leaders embarking on multiple community development initiatives including education, vocational training, and sustainable agriculture.

In 2019, I reached out to Justin to partner with him in support of this critical mission in the Congo. As a result, 10% of every product and service sold through my website ( goes DIRECTLY to providing water, freedom, and land for the Pygmy people living in the Congo.

I invite you to join me in this effort to support Justin’s mission by exploring the ways you can get involved by clicking here:

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