Jeremy Stephens is back in action this weekend at UFC 235, facing Zabit Magomedsharipov in a featherweight division attract.
The fighter is coming off of a loss to former UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo at UFC On Fox 30, a defeat that had Stephens contemplating suicide.
"After the fight, I was looking at my kids who were 9 and 7, and that was when my parents split up, when I was 8 years old," Stephens said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. "I was ready to leave my wife, leave my kids and just leave it all. Thinking suicidal thoughts."
According to the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention, a total of 47,173 American citizen committed suicide in 2017, with another 1,400,000 attempting suicide in the same year.
Stephens wound up getting much needed help for his issues, which included visiting the “Choice Center” in Las Vegas.
"Little did I know, once I got in this program, all I had to do was change my mindset," Stephens said. "Find some tools, discover a little bit more about myself. Share these things with people so that they can see where I come from and I can also learn from their life experiences. People look at us as fighters, and yes, I'm probably one of the toughest dudes you'll ever meet, but I've also been down in the dumps. I'm a real human being. I'm a person, I have feelings, I have emotions. Going through this program has really put me on another level mentally. It's helped my family. I've seen how it's affected my relationships and opened me up to a whole new world."
UFC 235 takes place on Saturday, March 2 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Jon Jones and Anthony Smith headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.