Xtreme Couture Jiu-Jitsu instructor Neil Melanson and Strikeforce female title threat Erin Toughill have joined hands in wedlock during a private ceremony to cement their long term relationship in holy matrimony. The couple recently revealed the news of their marriage to FiveOuncesofPain.com.
Wedding bells couldn’t be playing for a more deserving couple as both Neil and Erin have endured a number of trials and tribulations that ultimately put both on the path to the state of happiness the couple currently reside in.
An elite level grappler that spent a great deal of time under the wing of submission master Gokor Chivichyan in Los Angeles, Melanson spent a small portion of his life blinded from Behcet’s disease (an immune disease that attacks and breaks down tissue and blood vessels on the body) before recently having the vision restored thanks to modern science and a handful of pain medicines.
After overcoming a dark period in his life that left Neil questioning whether he could live another day due to the prospect of living the rest of his years in a world without sight, Neil recently spoke with 5 Oz. about the 180 degree turn his life has recently taken, and the pivotal role Erin has played in his happiness.
“I’m doing what I love doing. I have books coming out, I’m working for the best gym in the country, and I have a great relationship with Erin Toughill,” explained Melanson. “I finally feel like I have a great partner in my life, so I feel very lucky. If anyone out there is sick, or is just going through a hard time, the only thing I would tell them is to just be patient, because time heals everything. Just hang in there, because it’s crazy how things can be so terrible one day, and just a short time later it can be so great. I try to always remember that.”
With a little known story of perseverance and adversity to shadow her husband Neil’s, Toughill grew up as a self described “lost kid”, as she would explain to 5 Oz. during an April 2009 conversation.
“I think like a lot of kids, I grew up in two different households because my parents divorced at an early age,” explained Toughill. “I had a lot of anger from things I could not control with that separation.
“I was what they called a “bad kid”. I went to five different high schools in three years before I graduated early. But through all that, I was an avid reader, and although school wasn’t for me, I still read books and learned a lot on my own.
“I have lived on my own since I was seventeen, and prior to that, lived where I could at times. I was always, always getting into trouble and fighting. I was just a lost kid, you know?”
Unfortunately for Erin her troubled times were far from behind her upon graduation from her adolescent years. Five years ago her sister passed away in a car accident, and her father followed suit shortly after due to what could be considered a broken heart.
Which is why today is such a glorious day for both Neil and Erin; Two wandering souls that should finally be able to find peace, happiness and strength beyond their wildest imagination through one another.
*Melanson is currently authoring a highly anticipated technique book entitled “Triangles From The Guard” which will be published through Victory Belt Publishing and coming to a bookstore near you in the very near future.