After a spell of unemployment plus bitter divorce where he lost custody of his kids, Keith Rocheville could have easily spiralled into a downfall of depression or drugs. However, Keith used his disappointment to fuel his insane transformation into a ripped MMA fighter.
Two and a half years ago, Rocheville was trying to save his failing marriage, plus falling behind on child support for his two teenage sons from his first marriage. Keith, a carpenter, found himself divorced a second time and the child support was too much for him to handle especially after unable to find employment for a good deal of time.
“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,” Keith told the Daily Mail. “Our marriage just couldn’t be saved, and I eventually fell so far behind in support the state charged me with a felony.”
Keith, who was living in St. Louis, was forced to move in with his parents in California at age 38. He also lost his driver’s license.
“I was depressed, in the worst ways,” Keith remembers. “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.”
Rocheville returned to St. Louis and began dating an on-again-off-again girlfriend during his divorce, but the relationship quickly soured. One night at a pool party, Keith fell asleep and his girlfriend went through his phone to find texts from his ex-wife and a message to a friend that said that he “wasn’t planning on sticking around.”
“So I woke up to being carried by each limb by a man, floating across the lawn,” Keith says. “They tossed me in the gravel drive and it was dead quiet. They just started stomping me in silence. All I could do was cover my face.”
Keith suffered a separated shoulder, two broken ribs and a broken clavicle from the brutal attack.
He then found himself homeless, bouncing from friends’ houses and even was in a psychiatric hospital twice. Finally, his brother rescued Keith and brought him back to California. His brother took him to a doctor where he discovered that he broke his back in the summer.
All this time Keith had been trying to keep a relationship with his kids, but the messy divorce plus neglecting child support made for a tough task.
“I had been trying to call my kids and begging to speak to them,” Keith said. “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.”
Keith moved in with some friends who were “very health conscious,” and he adopted their healthy habits by running and adopting a lean diet. He quit alcohol, for no other reason than he “had nothing to celebrate. He also began body-weight exercises, and that’s when the incredible transformation began. He went from 220lbs weight to 147lbs.
The transformation was visible, not only for Keith, but a man who runs Jefferson City’s Cage of Champions invited him to be a MMA fighter. He lost his first fight, Keith said he was “too eager to prove myself” and carrying “two years worth of emotion bottled up into walking into the octagon.”
But it’s not only the health that has improved, Keith’s entire life has skyrocketed. Rocheville has a steady carpentry job and he’s financially stable. He’s on good terms with his sons from his first marriage, but still estranged from his two kids from the second wife.
Despite lingering sadness, Rocheville says, “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 even has a sense of humor these days.
On New Year’s Day, Keith was offered a second fight. Go get’em Keith!