In his prime Mark Kerr was a fearsome fighter who won two UFC tournaments and then began to cash in on his fame by signing with PRIDE organization, where he estimates he earned in the region of $1.8 million.
For a time Kerr lived like a rockstar, buying an expensive home in Santa Monica to go with another in Pheonix and four cars, along with developing a cocaine habit and abusing alcohol.
Before long it proved to be a lifestyle that was unsustainable.
“I needed at least three fights a year to sustain the lifestyle,” Kerr told Sports Illustrated in 2015. “I slowed down to one fight a year and wasn’t trying to get aggressive with renegotiating with Pride. I reached the point of burnout and didn’t feel like fighting as much. The money goes.”
An infamous warts-and-all documentary about Kerr called ‘The Smashing Machine’ came out in 2003, showing alarming behind-the-scenes footage of both his life and career going off the rails due to steroid and painkiller abuse in addition to a troubled relationship with his wife.
From being undefeated in his first 13 fights, Kerr would lose six of his next seven fights and since then Kerr has continued to have his battles with addiction and poverty, including one stage in 2014 where he was kicked out of a halfway-house due to not being able to pay his rent, which led to him sleeping in his own car for a time.
After sporadic attempts to return to fighting, Kerr is now retired and has worked as a car salesman.