Shawne Merriman Looks to go From ‘Lights Out’ to Knockout
Former All-Pro NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman, who retired from the national football league in 2013, has decided to join another professional sports league – the World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF). Merriman, age 34, has talked about the potential of getting into fight sports for the last few years. He felt that the WBKFF was the perfect start to making his fight dreams come true. According to ESPN, Merriman made the following comments about entering the world of bare knuckle fighting:
“Right now, this is the best opportunity for what I want to do. I’ve been kicking tires for years, this is a good place for me to start. I’m looking forward to having some fun out there. I get to train for the next six to eight weeks and go show everyone what I can do.”
The World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation is excited to have someone of Merriman’s name join their promotion and bring more eyes onto their sport. WBKFF CEO Tom Stankiewicz commented on the signing of Merriman in the abovementioned ESPN article:
“We are thrilled to have Shawne as part of our team. Shawne was a proven warrior on the field and we look forward to seeing him in the ring. We feel Shawne’s signing with WBKFF opens the doors to champions from all sports, and shows that he has the guts and courage to step into this gladiator’s sport.”
Merriman’s Football Career
The San Diego Chargers drafted Merriman out of Maryland with the 12th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Shawne was an excellent linebacker in college and was highly sought after due to his freakish blend of size and athleticism. His first few years with the Chargers were incredible as he tallied 39.5 sacks, earned the defensive rookie of the year award, and made the Pro Bowl. Merriman became even more recognized for his “Lights Out” dance after he made a big play, which was usually a sack on the quarterback.
Unfortunately, Shawne’s exciting career was soon to be derailed by injuries. Over the last 5 years of his NFL career (2008-2012), Merriman only played in 33 games which included a stint with the Buffalo Bills after the Chargers parted ways with Shawne during the 2010 season due to injuries and salary. In March of 2013, Merriman officially retired from the NFL.
For his career, Merriman had 45.5 sacks, 8 forced fumbles, 1 interception, and 197 total tackles.
From Lights Out to Knockout
Merriman was an extremely talented football player that just couldn’t stay healthy. He was on the fast track to becoming the NFL’s top defender during the early part of his career, but his body would soon start breaking down on him. For those of us that watched Merriman play in the NFL, he was a beast and put the fear in opposing quarterbacks. Now, the 34-year old is hoping to put the fear in opposing fighters.
The plan is for Merriman to train and have his first fight later this fall when the WBKFF holds an event in Cheyenne, Wyoming. There are some speculations that this event could air online and viewed by fight fans for a reasonable fee.
If you recall, the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship promotion held a fight event in Cheyenne a few months ago. So, the city is already thirsty for another bare-knuckle event and the WBKFF plans on doing it bigger and better than ever before.
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