Remembering the Forgotten

Justin Wren was on the verge of signing with one of the major MMA organizations at the time when he decided to leave behind his life as a professional fighter. His MMA experience was a challenging one filled with highs and lows, including competing in The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale and battling a strong oxycodone dependency stemming from a serious arm injury.

His decision to walk away from fighting was largely due to a higher calling in helping the severely oppressed people of the Congo known as Pygmies. The term "Pygmy" is used to describe an ethnic group of people who are short in stature, typically less than 4’11" tall. More than 600,000 Pygmies are believed to live in the Congo.

Sadly, many Congolese regard them as subhuman and have gone as far as institutionalizing a vile campaign of extermination that includes accounts of mass killings, cannibalism, and rape. In fact, both men and women are regularly raped by soldiers, who believe the heinous act will provide them with superhuman powers.

Aside from the mind-numbing violence the Pygmies are faced with, finding a reliable food source and clean water source are also daily challenges. These obstacles plus the lack of support from the local government left the Pygmies feeling absolutely hopeless, and described themselves as the forgotten people, which they truly were prior to Wren’s arrival.

After multiple trips to the Congo, Wren partnered with Shalom University to establish the foundation "Fight for the Forgotten." The foundation has helped the Pygmies procure water wells, crops, and nearly 2,500 acres of land.

Wren is now going a step further for the cause by returning to fighting in an attempt to give the Pygmies a voice by competing for Bellator which will serve as his platform to share his story.

Wren (10-2-0) makes his Bellator debut tonight at Bellator 141 at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California versus Josh Burns (8-8-0). Win or lose, Wren has already won the greatest fight of his life in helping us remember the forgotten.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.