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Unpacking Perfect: Eliot Marshall

Former MMA Fighter and current coach Eliot Marshall opens up about his fight with anxiety, depression and how finding your power can help save your life.
Credit: KUSA and SonderMind

COLORADO, USA — Eliot Marshall, a professional fighter, is big, strong and tough by trade. But his real, true strength is opening up and sharing the details of his battle with anxiety and depression. He recently sat down with 9NEWS and Unpacking Perfect to share his story of mental wellness. 

Unpacking Perfect is a sponsored series about the human chase for perfection being produced in partnership by 9NEWS in partnership with Aurora Mental Health Center. The series is about self-worth, and both the comforts and perils of comparison. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. This series looks at people coming to terms with the idea of perfection, the realities of imperfection, and learning to find strength from it all.

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Marshall is a former professional mixed martial artist and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Amal Easton. Coming through BJJ’s belt system Eliot was a prolific competitor, becoming the first American to earn IBJJF Pan American titles as a blue, purple and brown belt. 

It was also while climbing the ranks of BJJ that Eliot decided to enter the world of mixed martial arts in 2006, eventually competing in The Ultimate Fighter and then signing for the UFC, the most prestigious MMA promotion in the world. 

Credit: KUSA and SonderMind

In 2011, after a few ups and downs with his MMA career, Marshall decided to hang up his gloves and open Easton Training Center in Denver along with his coach Amal Easton.

In addition to being the co-owner and head instructor at Easton Training Center, Eliot became the head coach of Elevation Fight Team, one of the country's most highly regarded MMA teams. Despite his success as a business owner and coach, in the summer of 2015 Eliot suffered through a bout of severe anxiety, insomnia and depression, which he hadn't experienced since his adolescence. 

Relying on support from his friends and family in conjunction with ongoing therapy, Eliot has been able to overcome his anxiety and now seeks to help others who may be suffering from a similar affliction. 

Eliot returned to the BJJ competition scene in 2016 and began tallying wins against some of the best jiu-jitsu competitors in the world while donating his entire purse to help Easton students, who might be struggling with anxiety or depression, receive the care and therapy they otherwise couldn't afford.


Aurora Mental Health Center offers services to address a wide range of mental health conditions. Individuals and families rely on us to help them cope with a variety of challenges. Our staff of physicians, nurses, psychologists, therapists, and peers works with all age groups, from children to seniors.

The staff starts by getting to know you so they can accurately assess your needs. From there they connect you with counseling, classes, and other services that can help you achieve optimal mental health. When you’re looking for assistance in managing a mental illness, reaching out is typically the hardest step. 

Get started today by calling 303-617-2300 or visit AUMHC.org.

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