Addiction can make the toughest S.O.B. as powerless as this guy. While many MMA fighters have had their lives and careers derailed by drugs and alcohol, some were strong enough to find treatment and pull their lives out of the tailspin. Here’s our tribute to five of them…
Drug of choice: methamphetamines
Rock bottom moment: Wandering around the streets looking for a place to sleep after he had burned his bridges with everybody in his life. When he landed in the Washington State Penitentiary for 18 months for drug-related felonies after six years of shooting meth, nobody in his family came to visit him.
Recovery: While in the joint, Beerbohm began watching The Ultimate Fighter and became inspired to fight for a living; he’d already had to physically defend himself in prison a few times. "Fancy Pants" joined an MMA gym the day he got out, and won his first amateur fight eight days later. Beerbohm is currently 16-0 as a pro, and will take on Pat Healy in the main event of Strikeforce Challengers 14 next month.
Drug of choice: Alcohol, cocaine, heroin, meth, etc.
Rock bottom moment: McGee began abusing drugs after falling in with the wrong crowd after high school, and was once pronounced dead following a heroin overdose. In 2006, McGee had managed to stay sober for five months. In order to test his willpower, he took a trip to Las Vegas and decided to order just one drink. He woke up four days later in Iowa, not wearing any pants.
Recovery: McGee has been sober since April 16, 2006, two weeks after the Vegas/Iowa incident. He began training in MMA and rebuilding relationships with his family, which helped restore order to his life. "Crusher" came out of nowhere to win TUF 11 last June, and submitted Ryan Jensen in his follow-up fight at UFC 121.