Wren: Climbing Kilimanjaro kicked my ass worse than MMA
Bellator heavyweight Justin Wren recently climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with Super Bowl champ Chris Long from the Philadelphia Eagles in support of the water initiative Waterboys.
He spoke with TMZ upon his return and said it was tougher than fighting.
“I’m a professional fighter. It’s one thing to fight against people, but it’s a whole other thing to fight for people,” said Wren, as transcribed by MMA Weekly. “And that’s what I want to do is fight for people.
“It was some of the most sore I’ve ever been in my entire life. More so than after a fight.”
“Summit day, we climbed for 20 hours. We were out the tents at midnight and we didn’t get back until 8:00 p.m., so we were hiking up so that we didn’t get caught in the dark. Man, it kicked our butt. I think there were three or four guys that didn’t make it.”
“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 then we start going up to 19,341.”
In his book, “Fight for the Forgotten,” Wren shares how his faith shifted his focus from fighting against opponents in the cage to fighting for the “most bullied people in the world,” the Mbuti Pygmies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Justin took a five-year hiatus from his pro fighting career to live in the DRC with the oppressed hunter-gatherer tribe to begin land, water and food initiatives in the Ituri Rainforest. Since 2011, Justin and Fight for the Forgotten have provided nearly 3,000 acres of land, 70 water wells, and started 3 successful farming initiatives to the Pygmies, empowering local teams to be the implementers of the work. In 2018 a documentary entitled Fighting for Freedom will debut after being in filming since 2014. The film discovers and documents how thru empowering the locals to lobby for human rights more than 1,500 Mbuti Pygmies peacefully found sustainable freedom from their former slave masters.