He's not from rough streets or an impoverished background, but fighting has helped turn Nissen Osterneck's life around. The Hawaiian comes from a wealthy family and got to surf, play a lot of golf and party all the time as a teenager. He sprinkled in some jiu-jitsu training as a teen but never reallly thought about fighting as a career until he nearly killed himself drunk driving:
"I had a moment of clarity. I was driving home one night. I promised myself I wasn't going to do something that I did, and I ended up wrecking. It wasn't the first wreck I had," Osterneck told Cage Writer that he had six or seven similar wrecks. "(That was) just the one that snapped me out of it. I said 'am I waiting to kill myself or kill someone else?' I had my peace with God there and decided to take a different path in life and start doing things that were productive."
Osterneck said growing up with money in Maui, he had an air of invincibility. He even hit a telephone pole during one of his many accidents.
"Everything I do, I do to an extreme," said Osterneck. "I happened to be allergic to a substance that changes my mind. Drinking was my major downfall"
Watch Osterneck talk about cheating death (0:45 mark):