Former All-Pro linebacker Shawne "Lights Out" 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.

The longtime San Diego Chargers linebacker will now get a chance to fulfil that dream with some bare knuckle boxing, although a date and opponent for his first fight has not yet been determined. Merriman, 34, played eight seasons in the NFL between 2005 and 2012, and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection with the San Diego Chargers. 

"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."

According to Fight Network, World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF) officially announced that it is fully operational just a few weeks ago, and they are targeting this October to promote their inaugural professional event. All men's and women's matches will feature five two-minute rounds, taking place in a traditional boxing ring.