Move over, Greg Hardy, there’s another former NFL superstar who will try his hand in the fisticuffs game. Shawn Merriman, ex-linebacker for the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills, has signed a deal with World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF).
According to a report from ESPN, “Lights Out” is set to compete in a boxing match later this year, though a date and place has not been confirmed.
Merriman has long been a fan of the fight game, and has expressed interest in competing in mixed martial arts (MMA) after retiring from professional football back in 2013. And though it’s not exactly MMA, his upcoming bare-knuckle brawl is a good start.
“Right now, this is the best opportunity for what I want to do,” Merriman said. “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.”
ITS OFFICIAL ! @shawnemerriman Is Signed With The World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation Welcome To The Family !#BETTERCALLPAUL #BAREKNUCKLELIGHTSOUT#BAREKNUCKLEMERRIMAN pic.twitter.com/Kz4zAZROJu— World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (@WBKFFMATCHMAKER) August 1, 2018
Of course, Merriman’s gridiron comrade Greg Hardy made a successful transition into the world of MMA, going undefeated so far 3-0 as an amateur and 1-0 as a pro with his win coming via first round knockout over Austen Lane on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender series.
WBKFF recently made headlines after announcing it had booked a fight between former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight contender Chris Leben and Phil Baroni on October 20.