Former All-Pro linebacker Shawne Merriman has signed a deal with the World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF) to compete in a boxing match later this year. According to ESPN, Merriman has debated competing in combat sports, including MMA, for years since officially retiring from the NFL in 2013.
Former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman (@shawnemerriman) to compete in bare knuckle boxing this fall. World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation is the same promotion that recently signed Chris Leben and Phil Baroni. https://t.co/3zlnBR3Bdr
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) August 1, 2018
“This is really exciting for me,” Merriman said. “It’s a real privilege and honor for me to come out and fight. Thank you to everyone at the World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation for your support. It’s time for Lights Out!”
Merriman, 34, last played in the NFL in 2012, capping an eight-year career. A member of the San Diego Chargers and the Buffalo Bills, Merriman racked up 257 tackles, 45.5 sacks, and one interception. He was selected to the Pro Bowl three times.
Merriman has long teased the possibility of competing in mixed martial arts and has made several promotional appearances for Bellator MMA. Now, the 6-foot-4 Merriman will debut as a heavyweight in a bare-knuckle boxing match against an opponent to be named later.