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From Anger to Triumph: How MMA Transformed the Life of an Oklahoma Army National Guard Member

Discover the inspiring story of how Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) transformed the life of an Oklahoma Army National Guard member, Spc. Justin Budd. From battling anger issues to becoming a professional fighter, Budd’s journey showcases the power of MMA for personal growth.

TULSA, Okla. – An Oklahoma Army National Guard member, Spc. Justin Budd, found salvation and purpose in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) , allowing him to overcome his anger issues and transform his life. Through his journey, Budd has become an inspiration to others, showcasing the power of MMA as a tool for personal growth and self-discovery.

Budd’s story is one of triumph over adversity. Battling with anger management throughout his youth, he struggled to find an effective outlet to control his emotions. While he tried various sports like wrestling, it wasn’t until he discovered MMA that he truly found a path to channel his energy and release his emotions in a controlled environment.

‘MMA saved me, 100 percent,’ Budd shared. ‘My family and friends have seen the positive impact it has had on my life. It has kept me centered and prevented me from going down a destructive path.’

In February 2023, Budd made his professional MMA debut at Legacy Fighting Alliance 152 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Displaying his skills and determination, he secured an impressive knockout victory in the first round. With seven years of MMA training, six of which were while serving in the National Guard, Budd has established himself as one of the state’s most accomplished fighters.

His exceptional amateur record of 10 wins to only two losses earned him the opportunity to turn professional. Budd believes that his involvement in MMA and his service in the National Guard go hand in hand, as both offer platforms for him to aid and protect others.

‘Fighting for my country, fighting for my state, fighting for myself—it all ties into validating that I can protect myself and others,’ he explained. ‘Whenever I see someone in need, I want to help. That’s why I’ve volunteered for almost every State Active Duty mission that has come up.’

Since joining the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 2017 as a combat engineer, Budd has actively contributed to various State Active Duty missions. He played a crucial role in security operations during the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., and assisted in preparing and distributing personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Every time there’s been a moment where Oklahoma has needed us, I’ve volunteered because that’s what I signed up for,’ Budd emphasized. ‘I genuinely enjoy helping people.’

While continuing to serve his community through the Oklahoma National Guard, Budd remains dedicated to his growth in MMA. He sets ambitious goals for himself, with his current aim being to make it to the UFC and ultimately become a champion.

By combining his military service and his pursuit of excellence in MMA, Justin Budd exemplifies strength and determination. He serves as an inspiration to others, showcasing how resilience and dedication can positively impact lives both inside and outside the cage.


  • Spc. Justin Budd, an Oklahoma Army National Guard member, found purpose and transformation through Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) .
  • MMA provided Budd with an outlet to manage his anger and emotions in a controlled environment.
  • Budd made his professional MMA debut in February 2023, securing an impressive knockout victory.
  • He believes that his involvement in MMA and the National Guard allows him to protect and serve others.
  • Budd actively contributes to State Active Duty missions while pursuing his MMA career.
Name Occupation
Justin Budd Oklahoma Army National Guard member
Topic Relevance
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) High
Oklahoma Army National Guard High

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reference: www.nationalguard.mil