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War Machine sentenced to life in prison, eligible for parole in 36 years

The former mixed martial arts fighter known as War Machine was sentenced Monday to 36 years to life in Nevada state prison for kidnapping, beating and sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend and attacking her male friend at her Las Vegas home in 2014.

Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver will be eligible for parole in 36 years, when he will be 71 years old.

A jury convicted Koppenhaver, 35, in March. The jurors deadlocked on two attempted-murder counts but convicted him of 29 felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from attacks on Christy Mack and Corey Thomas.

Koppenhaver talked about his troubled past and referred to the late Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL player who committed suicide in a Massachusetts prison in April.

"I should have killed myself by now. There's no reason right now that I shouldn't be in the dirt right now laying next to Aaron Hernandez. That's 100 percent true," Koppenhaver said in his statement.

Mack, whose legal name is Christine Mackinday, fought through tears when she told District Judge Elissa Cadish on Monday that she still fears for her life if Koppenhaver were to leave prison.

"I do know when he gets out, he will kill me," she said.

Koppenhaver's lawyer, Jay Leiderman, said Koppenhaver tried to hang himself in jail in January, but that he has turned to religion and wants to become a role model behind bars.

"Not a day goes by that I don't seriously regret all those things that I did. I was a very, very lost, very empty person," Koppenhaver said in his statement. "And to top it off, something's not right with my head. Plain and simple. I've known that a long time and I've hated it. I've hated the way that I think. I've hated my impulses. Half the time, I don't know why I do some of the things I do. And some of the times I do things and I don't even feel like I did them until it's already done."

Leiderman said later that he will appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.

"I do know when he gets out, he will kill me."

Christy Mack during the sentencing of ex-MMA fighter War Machine.

He blamed anxiety, depression and self-pity for his problems and said he would stand in front of a mirror and smash his face into his fists until his face was swollen.

"Smashing my face was like a sick form of therapy. It was the only thing I could do to prevent myself from killing myself," he said.

Koppenhaver claimed to be a changed person now, saying he found God after reading two books by author Lee Strobel that used history and science to prove "Jesus is real."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.