August 1, 2018 / 3:40 PM / 10 months ago

Former NFL star Merriman to try bare-knuckle fighting

Former star NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman is trying his hand at combat sports.

FILE PHOTO: Former NFL's San Diego Charger player Shawne Merriman attends the announcement by San Diego's football stadium advisory group of the selection of Mission Valley as the proposed site for a new multi-use stadium in San Diego, California March 12, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

His knuckles, to be more specific.

Merriman, who has flirted with the idea of joining combat sports since leaving the NFL, revealed he has agreed to fight in the World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation. in a statement to ESPN.

“Right now, this is the best opportunity for what I want to do,” Merriman said in a statement to ESPN. “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.”

No opponent or date has been given, but the fight would take place in Casper, Wyoming.

Merriman, 34, retired in 2013 after two unproductive seasons with the Buffalo Bills.

He quickly rose to stardom in San Diego after being taken 12th overall by the Chargers in the 2005 NFL Draft.

With 39.5 sacks and three Pro Bowl nods across his first three seasons, Merriman and his “Lights Out” celebration became mainstays on highlight shows. However, he was also saddled with a four-game suspension in 2006 for violating the league’s steroid policy.

Merriman would rack up just 6.0 more sacks across six injury-plagued seasons after that before leaving the league at 28 years old.

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