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Shawne Merriman: From the NFL to “Xtreme Fighting”

(Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

“One thing I’ve learned [from] being in combat sports is that it’s internationally watched everywhere, in every country.”

On June 2nd, Shawne Merriman, who is best known for being a three-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker for the San Diego Chargers and later the Buffalo Bills, joined Merion West editor-in-chief emeritus Erich Prince to discuss the venture he has spearheaded since leaving the National Football League (NFL): Lights Out Xtreme Fighting. (“Lights Out” was a nickname Mr. Merriman earned while still in high school for “knock[ing] out four opposing players in one football game.”) After retiring from the NFL following the 2012 season, Mr. Merriman further cultivated his long-standing interest in combat sports, which had begun during his childhood in Washington, D.C., and, in 2019, he announced the creation of Lights Out Xtreme Fighting. His company seeks to identify talented, up-and-coming fighters to promote. During their conversation, Mr. Merriman describes the similarities in mindset between being a successful football player and a champion fighter, how the American viewing public typically responds to combat sports, and where his venture fits into the current landscape of fighting sports.

This interview appears in video form:

Erich J. Prince is the editor of Merion West. Erich has contributed to a variety of publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Hartford Courant, The News & Observer, the Orlando Sentinel, and The Hill. He studied political science at Yale, completing his thesis on polarization in the United States Congress.

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