Keith Rocheville, a dad of 42, found his life in dire straights in 2014.
His marriage was ending, and he fell so far behind on his support payment for his two teenage kids, that the court deemed it a felony.
Speaking to Daily Mail Online, Keith said: “Trying to save the marriage and family I had, I used what little I made to pay our bills. We owned a really reasonably nice home, the only I had ever owned. Our marriage just couldn’t be saved, and I eventually fell so far behind in support the state charged me with a felony.”
“I was depressed, in the worst ways. I couldn’t leave the house. I basically stayed in a room all day, walked to the corner if I bummed $5 from my mom. I was 38. Pathetic.”
Keith was forced to move back in with his parents in California. From that time, things were still getting worse.
He began seeing an on-again-off-again old flame during his divorce. However, the relationship quickly turned sour.
He said: “I had been trying to call my kids and begging to speak to them. My attempts were fervent over the first year, but each time I tried and was [unable to speak to them] it ripped the wound open, and I would fall apart more. I began to try less and less often.”
Getting a portion of stress every day Keith ended up in a psych ward twice. He began to lose weight rapidly.
Still struggling to find a job, Keith moved back to St. Louis to live with some friends who were into health and fitness.
This time he began to train: “I ran in the mornings, and I ran at night. I would do push-ups and just body weight exercises at home twice a day, at least once at worst. Only a small amount of all this because I wasn’t very strong. I would take a day off when I felt wore down.”
“[His friends] don’t eat wheat products, rye, barley. Gluten-free. I thought it was obnoxious at first, having to worry about what I ate was never a problem, I liked to cook, and I ate healthy, just too much.”
That’s when he began to hang out and train with some people who were into wrestling and boxing – “amateur wrestlers like WWE style.” He was soon approached by the owner of the Cage of Champions tournament in Jefferson City and asked to enter his first fight on October 16.
In order to enter the featherweight division, he managed to drop his body weight from 220lbs to 147lbs.
Though, it didn’t all go to plan: “I had always admired MMA, but I never thought I’d get to do it. The transformation for me has been surreal, I kinda feel like someone else.”
“I lost… I was too eager to prove myself, and I just was off my time. I didn’t have any discipline. I had two years worth of emotion bottled up into walking into the octagon.”
Since the last fight, Keith found himself a job as a carpenter and can now pay child support to his kids.
Unfortunately, he might still get jail time for his money troubles in the past.
“I still have nothing. I spent six weeks in county jail this summer, I have a court date for felony support on 19th. There is no help for someone like me, I just can’t get back on my feet. I don’t have drug or alcohol problem, I just have a life problem.”
“I am emotionally 200 per cent better. My spirit is in a good place, it’s just not the same without my kids to share it with,” Keith concluded.