Nearing 'the deep end,' Mike Kyle almost killed himself in his climb back to the top of Strikeforce

Mike Kyle (pictured) looks to avenge his loss to Rafael Cavalcante this weekend (May 19, 2012) at Strikeforce: "Barnett vs. Cormier." Photo vis Showtime Sports.

Strikeforce Light Heavyweight contender Mike Kyle has had his ups and downs in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career. Lately, however, he's been trending more towards the latter.

On Dec., 4, 2010, at Strikeforce: "Henderson vs. Babalu 2," Kyle lost to Antonio Silva in the second round via technical knockout after dropping "Bigfoot" early in their heavyweight fight. The loss snapped "Mak's" five fight winning streak and to add injury to insult, he suffered a broken hand in the process.

Ready to get back on the horse, Kyle returned to 205-pounds and was penciled in to face Gegard Mousasi four months later, but another broken hand forced him to pull out of the fight. It was re-booked five months later, but this time it was Mousasi who withdrew from the bout.

Kyle went on to defeat Marcos Rogerio de Lima at Strikeforce: "Barnett vs. Kharitonov" on Sept. 10. 2011 to get himself back in the win column.

Hoping the third time would be the charm, Kyle and Gegard were booked to face off at Strikeforce: "Tate vs. Rousey" this past March. Once again, the fight was scratched as Kyle was forced to withdraw due to another injury.

On a recent episode of TheSHOOT!, Kyle talked about his climb up the ranks of the 205-pound division, including a rough patch in his life that he says drove him to the 'deep end' following his suspension after his controversial fight against Brian Olsen at WEC 20 in 2006.

"I've been fighting for a long time, I wasn't always doing the right things to take care of myself. I had a couple staph infections and had to pull out of a couple of fights. I had a broken hand, I broke it three times last year. I tore one of my labrums, it was actually my second tear. If you go into my old fights, the last few years since I got suspended, from that fight on, I go to hip toss a guy or I had to give them my back to get up, every time I would have to keep my legs straight, and I don't know if people would notice it or not, but I couldn't do it. I had that suspension from that illegal kick. I went through a lot. Training in the gym, people didn't want to train with me. I went off almost the deep end. I was drinking a lot every day and partying and I almost killed myself. Now, my girl is picking up bills for several months. I had to hit bottom to start the climb back up. My lady gave birth to a baby healthy girl. It had to be that point where my life really did turn around. It makes me motivated man, I gotta go out there and provide for her."

With new found motivation, Kyle has compiled a 9-3 record since his disqualification loss to Olsen and looks to return to the Hexagon and stake his claim as one of the most dangerous light heavyweights in the game today.

It won't be easy, though, as he's drawn a game former Strikeforce 205-pound champion Rafael Cavalcante at this weekend's (May 19, 2012) Strikeforce: "Barnett vs. Cormier" event, which will mark the second time the two have gone toe-to-toe, with Cavalcante getting the best of the first encounter back in 2009.

Can the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) trained fighter make it two in a row in San Jose? Or will "Feijao" show once again that he has "Mak's" number?

Opinions, please.

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