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Bellator heavyweight Justin Wren has been a successful fighter for years, but his passion in life extends far beyond the confines of any cage.
Wren has been fighting professionally for about 12 years, amassing an overall record of 13-2. That includes a stint on the UFC’s venerable reality series The Ultimate Fighter, but more recently a 3-0 run under the Bellator banner.
As much as he enjoys fighting, Wren has answered to a much bigger calling in life, and that is one that includes fighting for those that aren’t able to fight for themselves.
Having spent several years traveling to the Congo jungle, including living there for a year, Wren started a non-profit organization called Fight For The Forgotten, which works to free the Mbuti Pygmy people from slavery and develop sustainability. He’s also partnered with other non-profits, including Water4.org, which helps in part to develop sustainable water solutions for those in need.
“I’m a professional fighter. It’s one thing to fight against people, but it’s a whole other thing to fight for people. And that’s what I want to do is fight for people,” Wren said in an interview with TMZ Sport following his latest feat: climbing 19,341-foot Mount Kilimanjaro for a cause.
Wren was part of a group that ventured to the top of Africa’s tallest mountain. He used the trip as a fundraiser in coordination with the non-profit group Waterboys.org for a primary school in Eastern Africa that needed help developing a sustainable clean water supply.
Wren and his compatriots made it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, but he admits it was one of the toughest things he’s ever done, even more so than fighting in a cage.
“It was some of the most sore I’ve ever been in my entire life. More so than after a fight,” said Wren.
“Summit day, we climbed for 20 hours. We were out the tents at midnight and we didn’t get back until 8 p.m., so we were hiking up so that we didn’t get caught in the dark (on the way down). Man, it kicked our butt. I think there were three or four guys that didn’t make it,” Wren recounted.
“The altitude just hit us, man. We were sleeping at 15,700 feet the night before the climb; that’s 1,500 feet higher than any mountain in Colorado. We’re sleeping there and than we start going up to 19,341.”