22-year-old Justin Wren impressed UFC President Dana White on season ten of the Spike TV reality show “The Ultimate Fighter” by submitting UFC veteran Wes Sims with an arm-triangle that put the big man to sleep in the first round.
Following the win, Wren advanced to the quarterfinals, where he faced eventual winner of the show (and seasoned vet) Roy Nelson. Wren lost a controversial two-round majority decision to Nelson, in which most viewers argued should have at least gone to a third round.
Although Wren did not make it to the TUF 10 finals, he along with a select few other fighters from the show, were invited to fight on the “TUF 10 Finale” card on Dec. 5. It was there Wren faced TUF 10 house mate and H.I.T. Squad member Jon Madsen.
It was Wren’s official UFC debut. No, he didn’t win The Ultimate Fighter, but he was still fighting in the UFC, and there have been several fighters who did not win the reality show, but have gone on to have successful careers inside the Octagon.
On the other hand, there have been even more fighters who did not win on the reality show, but were invited to fight in the UFC any way, and were then cut by the promotion when they couldn’t deliver.
Unfortunately for Wren, he fell into the latter category. The UFC, most likely Dana White, saw something in Wren he liked and still wanted to give him the chance to shine. However, his opponent at the TUF 10 Finale, Jon Madsen, had different plans.
Madsen played the counter-fight game and made Wren chase him down for most of the fight. To Madsen’s credit, he stuck to his game plan, he out-pointed Wren, and walked away with the split decision. It was not pretty, but it worked. Madsen did not throw one kick the entire fight and Wren threw about two. It was a pure boxing match between two guys who are predominantly wrestlers.
Wren, now with a professional record of 10-2, will likely go back to fighting on the regional circuit. Either that, or he could possibly get picked up by Strikeforce, or fight in Japan. It is practically a guarantee we will see “The Viking” back inside the Octagon one day. He is on the right path, he is in a great camp, and he has a great base on which to build.
Wren nor his manager have responded to our request for a statement and/or interview regarding his release from the UFC.
You can read the archives of Justin “The Viking” Wren’s TUF 10 BLOG which he wrote exclusively for ProMMA.info following each episode of “The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights” on Spike TV, to give our readers insight and a behind-the-scenes view of what was really going on between the coaches, the fighters, inside the house, and in the gym.
For true Justin Wren fans, you can read the first interview we did with “The Viking” back in June 2008, well before The Ultimate Fighter world ever heard of him.