Chris “Bukwas” Anderson has two big fights coming up this month. And he needs the Comox Valley’s legendary largesse to help him win one of them.
The hard-rock mixed martial arts fighter also has a soft spot in his heart for humanitarian causes, and while he is preparing to defend his Battlefield Fight League amateur welterweight championship, he is also raising funds to help build a water well for people in the Congo who have no access to clean water.
Building wells is one part of Fight for the Forgotten, a project started in 2013 by UFC fighter Justin Wren. Anderson became interested in assisting after seeing a podcast of Wren discussing the project with UFC commentator Joe Rogan. (Visit fightfortheforgotten.com for a link).
While in the Congo Wren caught malaria and almost died, but Anderson says he is now back in North America and getting his health back.
“We messaged him online and he said it costs about $3,500 to build a well,” said Anderson, whose girlfriend Kailyn has been busy organizing a Sunday, May 17 fundraiser at the Prime Chop House in Courtenay to help Wren’s group do just that.
“There’ll be $20 dinners (burger or pasta) which includes beer or wine, and $5 from each plate goes to Chris, who gives half of that to the fundraiser.”
“My half is what I need for competition fees, medical papers, eye exams – which I have to pay for,” Anderson explained. “I need to get my paperwork done, whatever’s left after that we give to the project.”
Kailyn says there will also be a silent auction and 50-50 draws. A list of donors and how to donate is on Anderson’s Facebook page.
“We’v set up a gofundme for anyone who wants to donate, and I’ve received two so far. Also any sponsorship money I get (businesses donate to help with his costs of competing) I’m giving half of that (to the project),” Anderson added.
Tickets for this Sunday’s fundraiser are available at the door, which opens at 5 p.m. Everyone is welcome.
Along with obtaining clean water (which helps eradicate disease), Fight for the Forgotten has a variety of goals. Anderson says Wren buys freedom of those who are enslaved and purchases land for them. “They’re having a hard time with food because of poachers and the game’s running out, so they’re teaching them how to farm so they will be sustainable.”
With all that going on, the couple say they really want to raise $3,500 to build a water well for the Congolese from the Comox Valley. If the funds fall short, they will all go to Fight for the Forgotten and Wren will let them know how the money was used.
Wren posts photos and videos of Congolese when they have a well installed, and Anderson says it is great to see the smiles on the villagers’ faces when they taste clean water.
Those wishing to donate to the cause or who would like more information can contact Kailyn at 250-871-2617 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rage in the Cage
While the public’s help with that ongoing fight is needed and appreciated, Anderson is fine-tuning his MMA skills for his other big fight this month – Battlefield 36 at the River Rock Casino in Richmond.
On May 30, the Comox Valley Boxing Club & MMA stalwart is putting his Battlefield amateur welterweight title on the line against Mazdak Pourbohloul of Titan MMA in Coquitlam.
Anderson (9-2) notes Pourbohloul (3-0) has defeated all his opponents by submission and is also an undefeated kickboxer.
“He’s a middleweight prospect and this will be his first fight at 170 (pounds), which is 15 pounds under (the middleweight class). He’s 6’6″, kind of tall for the weight class, and I think he’s kinda going to have a tough time making weight,” said Anderson, who has successfully done so in past fights and knows whereof he speaks.
As part of his training, Anderson is biking, swimming and running to increase his endurance and plans to compete in the May 24 Shoreline Orthodontics Tri-K in Courtenay.
He notes that the May 30 fight is planned to be his last as an amateur.