LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – If you’re a fan of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, then you know that Saturday night UFC 281 happens, but more importantly, Friday was Veterans Day. 

The top 10 ranked UFC featherweight fighter in the world, Bryce Mitchell, who was born in Cabot, Arkansas spent time honoring veterans at the We Defy Foundation’s Rucking and Rolling event at Westside MMA in Little Rock. 

Hosting at up to 500 gyms, it’s a nationwide event to help raise funds for We Defy. 

In 2021, they raised 500 thousand dollars to provide combat veterans coping with military connected disabilities a long term means to overcome their challenges 

God, family, and his home state are what matters most to Mitchell.

“They told me I wasn’t ever going to be successful. I couldn’t follow my dreams if I stayed in Arkansas, so I make sure to remind those people where I’m from when I get my big wins,” Mitchell said.  

But he knows he wouldn’t be free to follow his dream if it wasn’t for veterans like Joseph Bozik who was an E-5 Sergeant and military police officer. 

In 2004, an improvised explosive device in Iraq caused Bozik to lose both legs and right forearm after 6 years of service.  

Bozik said he was the second triple amputee ever in the global war on terrorism since 2001.

He says it was martial arts that helped him physically and mentally after his injury. 

Ju Jitsu led him to co-founding the We Defy Foundation to help disabled vets overcome their challenges. 

“Being competitive again, getting down on the mat, building bonds, and getting back in mental and physical shape gives veterans back what they lost when they had to transition out of the military,” Bovik said. 

“It just means a whole bunch to be able to give back the small little bit that I can,” Mitchell said. “All these luxuries we get are because of battles our veterans fought and won in the past.”

He hopes to see the fighting culture continue to grow for Arkansans and those who’ve served. 

And for more information on the We Defy Foundation, visit them online.