A man is often defined by what he can accomplish with what he has to work with.
Sean Loeffler (25-5) didn't have much to work with.
But, years later, Loeffler is now at the top of the world—or some would say.
However, not according to Loeffler.
From a house with no electricity and meals consisting of peanut butter and jelly, Loeffler now owns his own house, gym, and is happily united with his girlfriend Ciara Price.
But, the man often referred to as "The Destroyer" won't be satisfied until he gets his daughter back into his life.
In a recent interview, Loeffler told Bleacher Report his difficult struggle in losing his daughter and how its motivated him to become a UFC elite.
"My daughter was taken from me when she was just five years old. She was everything to me—my pride and my joy. I got into some legal troubles and I couldn't see her for a few months," said Loeffler. "It was one of the hardest times in my life."
"She's my life and she's the reason I went pro. I had to make a choice in life because I was cleaning port-a-potties and doing some horrible jobs to stay above water. Her mother and I didn't see eye to eye," shared Loeffler.
However, despite his unfortunate circumstances, his daughter always appreciates what Loeffler was able to provide for her.
"She was living with me and I didn't have electricity or gas. But, my daughter would always say, "Dad, you know, I like cold showers because they wake me up in the morning. And, I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches." She knew that's all we had and she knew I was doing the best I could," stated Loeffler. "It broke my heart."
"My life really went down the drain and I got locked up. When I got out, I was hoping I would get my life together but it didn't happen. A bunch of legal things happened and I've only seen my daughter two times since then," said Loeffler.
Things didn't get any easier as Loeffler would go on to lose yet another meaningful person in his life.
However, this time it was permanent.
"Hector Gil was someone I cared about very deeply. He was more than a friend to me, he was a mentor. One day I got a call and I was told that I needed to sit down. They went on to tell me that my coach was killed.
"I was told that some jealous gym owner came in and accused my coach of stealing his fighters. He shot my Hector," emotionally said Loeffler. "I couldn't believe it."
When things couldn't get any worse—they did.
"Three weeks later was my first Bellator fight. I had no focus as my life was in shambles. I was literally at the lowest point in my life. I ended up losing that fight. Afterwards I couldn't even talk," shared Loeffler. "I couldn't believe what was going on in my life."
But, a man is not defined by how he responds at the high points in life but the lowest of the valleys.
Loeffler was determined not to let life get the best of him.
"I said forget this, I'm going to win my fights from now on, I'm going to make Hector proud and I'm going to get my daughter back. I've been through so much in life and I couldn't let it hold me down. I've been shot, stabbed and arrested," stated Loeffler.
"Right then and there I told myself that I could either hit rock bottom and be piece of trash on the street or in prison, or I could make things better."
Loeffler would go on to win his next six bouts, all by first-round finishes.
Slowly but surely, things began to get better in the life of Sean Loeffler.
However, it wasn't until Jan. 8, 2012 when Loeffler's world would change forever.
"I got a phone call on Jan. 8 at 7:58 a.m. and I'll never forget it. I was sleeping one morning and at this point I had my own gym and my own house," said Loeffler. "I was doing better and making some big moves in my life."
"I thought something happened to my dad at first. I usually don't get waken up for a phone call so I thought something was wrong with my family. I was told it had nothing to do with my dad. So, I asked if it had to do with my sister or mom. I was scared out of my mind because I didn't know what was going on.
"On the phone was one of my best friends who had been contacting Joe Silva," shared Loeffler. "He told me that I just signed a four-fight contract with the UFC."
"I fell to my knees man. I couldn't believe it. I made some extra phone calls and I hired Buddy Roberts' last opponent," stated Loeffler. "I'm ready for the UFC."
Loeffler will have the opportunity to prove to the world that he is in fact on a fast track to the top of middleweight division when he takes on Buddy Roberts (11-2) in a preliminary bout at UFC on Fuel on Feb. 15 in Omaha, Neb.
"The Destroyer" is confident he'll live up to his nickname when he meets Roberts in the Octagon in front of a jam-packed Omaha Civic Auditorium.
When asked if he was concerned with his matchup at all, Loeffler responded by stating,
"I'm concerned that the UFC's medical insurance won't take care of him when I'm finished with him. He'll have some stuff to take care of after the fight is over," said Loeffler. "They might have to get him a pen and paper because he might have a broken jaw."
"I know he's a tough guy and that he works with Greg Jackson and that's great. Any Jackson fighter is hard to beat. The perfect example is Carlos Condit when he just fought Nick Diaz.
"I'm looking to finish him. It's our first fight and neither one of us are UFC fighters," shared Loeffler. "We're two guys fighting in the cage and we'll see who wants it more."
"We'll see who's been stabbed, lost his coach, and had their daughter taken away from them. We'll see who looks across the cage and who's going to quit first. I'll put my fist where my mouth is and I'm the better fighter," stated Loeffler. "I'm tougher."
Loeffler is no rookie when it comes to fighting. In fact, he believes he knows exactly what Jackson has in store for him when action begins on the 15th.
"I'm sure he'll have a good game plan and blah, blah, blah. Jackson is probably telling him to take me to the deep waters because I haven't been out of the first round in five years. F--- you. I don't a give a F--- who you are. I'm going to drop him. I'll put my right hand so far down his throat he won't know what to do," said Loeffler. "It's not about Buddy Roberts, it's about me."
"Ask the other guys I've dropped. Ask them how my right hand felt and ask the other guys how it felt to get knocked out in 10 seconds. Even the guys I lost to will tell you I hit hard. I got a hammer and dynamite attached to my wrists.
"I got two boulders on my fists and I'm going to throw them. If he wants to trade with me, then I'll take home an extra $65,000 to put towards my house," stated Loeffler.
"You'll have to interview me right after so I can tell you how it feels to knock out Buddy Roberts. I'm moving up the UFC ladder," shared Loeffler. "I respect him, but I'm going to rip his f------ head off."
Also squaring off after Loeffler's bout at UFC on Fuel is Jake Ellenberger, who will take on Diego Sanchez in the main event of the evening.
Loeffler weighed in with his prediction for the welterweight showdown.
"That's a pretty simple question and the answer is real simple. First, my after party is with Jake Ellenberger. Second, Diego is from Jackson's camp. I like Jake all day, baby. He's got a lot of talent and has bricks on his wrists kind of like I do. We'll win and party afterwards," said Loeffler. "Jake is a big deal in Omaha."
Through the ups and downs of life, Loeffler has always been blessed by those who've stuck by his side, even in the lowest of lows.
"There are a ton of people I need to thank who've been there for me on my long journey to the UFC. Ground and Pound Fight Gear, Cascio's Steakhouse in Omaha, Neb., Todd Korving at TKD Combat Systems, Q's Oceanside restaurant in California, Booster Fight Shorts, 3rd Street Tattoo in Hermosa Beach, Calif.," said Loeffler. "Then there's Skullylicious Clothing, Back Stage Cargo, Lexani Rims, and VII AD Jewelry."
"I want to thank the Compound Fight Gym, South Bay Jiu-Jitsu and Bob Bass. Holistic Performance, Andy Schnadig, San Diego Fight Club, Charlie Kohler, War Fuel Supplements, Wrap Wrench, Propta, Bonehead TV, MMA Board Game, Manufactured Fighting Factions, Paradigm MMA Management, Santa Cruz Designs, Tony "Kryptonite" Lopez, and Larry Oberle," stated Loeffler.
Loeffler concluded by thanking those who mean the most to him in life.
"I want to thank all my friends and fans. But most importantly, I'd like to thank my father and mother and my girlfriend Ciara."
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