Comox Valley MMA fighter chases a second belt

Chris “Bukwas” Anderson will be headlining a mixed martial arts card June 24 at the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam when he fights for the vacant Battlefield Fight League (BFL) middleweight title.

The Comox Valley fighter faces Langley-based Jared Revel, a jiu-jitsu black belt who stands 6’1 and has a 5-1 record.

The 6’3 Anderson sports a professional record of 5-0 with four knockouts. Last June at BFL 44, he defended his welterweight championship in a rematch against Curtis Harriott, from whom he had taken the title. If he beats Revel, Anderson will be the first BFL fighter to hold two titles in different weights. A win might also punch his ticket to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Anderson says the BFL is akin to a “farm league” for the UFC.

“They just had their heavyweight champion sign to the UFC. He’s the fourth (BFL) champion to go on to the UFC,” said Anderson, 27. “It just so happens I hold most of the records for them (BFL).”

The records are longest consecutive win streak, and most consecutive rounds won.

Born and raised in the Valley, Anderson is a member of the Namgis First Nation and has family in Alert Bay. At fights, he wears a Bukwas mask (wild man of the woods in Kwakiutl legend) designed by his cousin Vincent Moon.

Thanks to sponsors, Anderson can train twice a day. He recently worked out four times in the same day: a two half-hour workouts, two hours of Muay Thai, and an hour of sparring with a fresh opponent every two minutes.

“Some workouts can last three hours, four hours,” he said.

Anderson mostly trains in wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai. His elbow has caused most of his knockouts.

“That seems to be the signature move. We’ve started calling it ‘The People’s Elbow’,” he said with a laugh. “We stole that from The Rock.”

Anderson has been a mixed martial artist for six years. As an amateur, he had 10 wins and two losses. He won the welterweight belt in his third pro fight.

He and his wife, Kailyn Regner, have started a non-profit called the Bukwas Foundation, which sponsors young athletes and assists organizations such as the Kermode Friendship Society in Terrace, B.C.

“We’re funding community rec centres in indigenous communities. And something new we’re starting is sponsoring individual athletes,” Anderson said. “We want to maximize their potential.”

“We donate pretty much half of all that he makes,” Regner added.

He pauses when asked about the inspiration behind his generous nature.

“Learning about my own culture and heritage,” said Anderson, who is half First Nations. “Looking into the culture, mostly around the philosophy of warriors. That’s basically where it started. A lot of different things happened along the way. It particularly revolves around my grandma, who passed away a couple years ago.”

“She enjoyed helping people and charities,” Regner said.

Find the Bukwas Foundation on Facebook.