Former Maryland Terps and San Diego Chargers pass rusher Shawne Merriman tells Nestor about his growing Lights Out MMA promotion and talks about the crowded field of emerging quarterbacks in the AFC as NFL training camp begins.
quarterback, growing, football, fight, mma, year, lamar, maryland, talked, afc, herbert, ufc, lights, win, play, coming, august, put, offseason, wide receivers
Shawne Merriman, Nestor Aparicio
Nestor Aparicio 00:01
Looking back wn st Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive or positive with taking the Maryland crabcake tour out on the road celebrating 25 years are gonna be a Costas on the third. We’re going to be a drug city on the fourth and then throughout the month of August the end of August on the 28th We’re gonna be down at Glenburnie Pappas eating the world famous crab cakes as well with Anna Rundle county executive Steuart Pittman, I’m sure we’ll talk some horse racing as well, some Annapolis and things down in the southern end of Baltimore if you keep going through and Rondo county down on 95 you get down to College Park, where this guy applied his trade for a period of time then went on to the NFL he is now working in the MMA space as a an executive a promoter of all things MMA but always coming back to Maryland and doing his lights out promotion. He’ll be doing that in the winter. But coming back here right now on the eve of Lamar season, the NFL season, the Chargers given money away. We welcome Shawn Merriman back onto the program so much going on. Dude, I’m following you on social right now. You’re ramping these fights up you’re getting them out of FUBU every couple of months right? Yeah, yeah, we’re
Shawne Merriman 01:08
actually about every six weeks now. So we’re trying to dwindle it down to about four weeks now. We’re really cranking every four weeks once we once we get going but it’s been great man we got a huge fight coming up August 26. In San Diego those can’t be there. Obviously you guys probably won’t be there but you can check us out on football, sports football TV, we’ll be live at 7pm Pacific August 26th. We just climbed into the top top five or football sports man so I think that you know for us that’s a big big landmark football got a lot of you know great programs soccer on a great shows great content. And for us to climb in that top five man really really shows us that you know the fans like what we’re doing.
Nestor Aparicio 01:48
Tell me about fubo a little bit because and I just want to pitch because I’m an old guy. I turned 55 Lady and the Orioles now, the Orioles are a big deal here now, right? They’re winning like at San Diego Padres win. And San Diego Padres lost their television network, right. I know you know about that. We’re out here. Masson has the games except on Friday night. It’s Apple TV. Some Sundays. You got to I mean, all these different things you have to do and they all have a paywall. Tell me that on August 26. If you’re an MMA fan, you want to watch these fights. How do I do the FUBU thing? I’m an old guy, Sean, you gotta you gotta educate.
Shawne Merriman 02:20
Yeah, but most people this subscribe on football. You know, anybody with Samsung TV Roku will be on Vizio platforms. Well, I think we’ve been our postgame posts by stuff as shown on Amazon freebie as well I think so too. So we’re getting out there man. It’s pretty cool because you know, not only shown in the States but we’re showing in Canada, France and some parts of Spain. And so you know, look football is king here in the country it always will be even in the fight business now. But internationally, you know, the fight game is really really big and really strong I think you know, a lot of people can think the UFC for like making them more of a global phenomenon. So for us man, we just got the next up and coming stars right everybody comes to us before they get the opportunity to go to UFC or go to one of these other you know, bigger promotions which UFC seems to be it when it comes from us. And you know like I said we clap in that flute that top five on football sports man that was that’s a big big deal for us. You know, it was it was a it was key to have something like that happen.
Nestor Aparicio 03:18
Well, you know, other than your obvious passion for doing this and creating and all I do is go back to professional wrestling. And I remember when you know Vince McMahon had the Northeast and the NWA and the AWA and and UFC came in 1520 years ago and I’ve told you about John Rollo does the show gunfights you I grew up with your local promotions and as they pop up, you’re trying to be a lot more than a local promotion obviously, coming on 3000 miles away having these the power of video would make that happen. How many local promotions are out there and Did you base it? Southern California Vegas in that area. We think there’s a lot of that’s that’s a very prime area for what MMA is right? I mean around the world. There are a lot of fighters coming out of the area where you play football.
Shawne Merriman 04:04
Yeah, no, no question about it. There’s a ton of fighters in California mainly Southern California got some really good gyms like the Diaz brothers who come from you know, northern Cal in Stockton area so you have some champions coming up but what we’re seeing is because of the notoriety that damages what MMA is getting you see in fight Jones pop up in Florida, Tennessee, Texas, New Jersey, I’ve even had a brief conversation with the MGM right there back in back in Maryland to possibly have a fight there within this next year. A big one so you know, as a sports grow you having more and more people and by the way, I grew up in the DMV area. So boxing was was my thing, you know, Leonard, I
Nestor Aparicio 04:43
mean, that’s all you need to say here. Yeah, sugar linen and Palmer Park. You know, I’ve
Shawne Merriman 04:46
been when I was growing up I’ve been to a gym in Palma park that my uncle for a professional boxer. So I grew up as a boxing fan. MMA really didn’t come
Nestor Aparicio 04:54
up the bottom we have Mack Brown, right. We have Vincent Pettway. Reggie Grossman. We had fighters you’re all The time putting flights on and it really, really you Sugar Ray was a big part of that and Ollie train it just up the hill in Pennsylvania for all those years. I mean, this was a real hotbed for fights.
Shawne Merriman 05:09
Yeah, no question about it and as big as MMA is getting down and get more global you’re starting to see you know, some of those boxes that were brought up boxes to kind of transition into MMA boxing is always gonna be big right. I’ll be a deterrence Crawford specifying this weekend. I still I’m still a boxing fan, but as we see MMA drawn to a more global phenomenon.
Nestor Aparicio 05:29
Shawn Merriman is here he is like that you can find all the information at lights out x f.com. The fight is the fights I should say are August 26, at the casino out in San Diego, but their broadcasts are and of course Sean comes on because he’s sharp. It’s football season around here yet you are doing your your coach promotion, I want to give you lots of gentle nap because we are a few months out hot as hell here right now. It’s hot as hell everywhere right now, Sean, you know that but you do this very, very special thing that I mean, it’s it’s it’s your signature thing. Right? I mean, going back to when you were a student here.
Shawne Merriman 06:03
Yeah, my lights on when a cold drive that I established when I was at the University of Maryland. You know, we just finished up my 20th annual when a coal job last last November. And you know, the craziest thing when I get there is you know, some of the people who used to come when I very first started out right, everybody showed up they got grazed and a beard now to get kids. This is when I first started out long time ago, I’m not dying
Nestor Aparicio 06:25
mine. I’m letting you know, there are some Gray’s in your father’s dying and I
Shawne Merriman 06:29
know Trust Me, I’m getting my tube. I noticed mine popping in on the side. I’m growing in there. That’s it, you know, and but it’s cool for me, right? It’s cool to see people still coming around still supporting. You know, we got the field hockey team out there, the restaurant team, the basketball team, the football team that’s out there depending on when I have it. So you know, it’s just cool to see all the people to still support after all these years. We’ll have it this year. I have my 20 for first annual winter coat drive in November was trying to lock down the game to date and make sure they don’t have anything else going on at date. And just keep expanding man we got you know, little over 1000 coats last year, which is look, man 1000 plus people was warmer. That’s that’s how I look at it.
Nestor Aparicio 07:09
Well, Maryland’s coming again, right on the basketball side. Certainly right. I mean, last year was an awakening. And I say that here in Baltimore where the Orioles fans have been awakened. I think Trump’s basketball people that may have been a little somnambulant after Gary and certainly detergent era, last year was a whole new place. You’ll find more enthusiasm when you come back this November.
Shawne Merriman 07:32
You know, I was talking to Scott Van Pelt probably a couple months ago. And just the excitement and the energy is back around that program now that they didn’t have for a long time. It feels like back when I came in right when they just won the national championship. All this excitement I remember seeing the guys walking to the classroom and I’m like, dude, these guys just won. You know, he’s won a ring, right? It just that type of excitement is happening. And it was going to end up happening at the end of the day is going to start to trickle into football and it’s coming. It’s like what might what Coach Locksley is dorm there right now is exciting, because now not only they have one of the best recruiting classes, they’re going to be able to compete with Ohio State, the Michigan’s you know, they gotta go out and win those games against Purdue and Northwestern. They can’t give up those games like they did before in the past. They gotta win those games, but they will actually be in a position this year to compete against the Michigan the Michigan’s in Ohio State.
Nestor Aparicio 08:25
How much Joe would you rolled in? And NIHL? Shawn? Be honest with me how much?
Shawne Merriman 08:29
Yeah, seven figures for sure.
Nestor Aparicio 08:33
Well, I mean, hey, dude, the world’s changed. I mean, it’s funny to even have you say, you were just rolling in there when they won on that old dude. I mean, I’m Maryland back to Tom McMillan and Elmore and like, you know, all that stuff, but it’s been 20 over 20 years. Same thing you know, I go back to the Ravens first championship in that whole era, and to think how much things have changed, but for all of college sports for anybody that was a special athlete like you it’s different game for your kids at this point. Right?
Shawne Merriman 09:01
It’s a different game and I’ll tell you how to put that lights out name and use that and if I was in college, trust me, and I don’t know if you saw the commercial with the coldness the guy that had to go to Canada that the air conditioner about the coldest it was one of the best commercials that we’ve seen it with best advertisement last the kids last name with the cold is I thought that was I thought that was great. We would I would have found a way to implement lights out somewhere. Probably Pepco right back then. And when they had light and gas electricity company, Pepco maybe that would have been you know, lights out maybe I could have got a deal there.
Nestor Aparicio 09:33
Well, the electric company would have put you into business Shawn Mary minutes here. His fights are August 26. You can find out all that he’s doing it lights out x f.com also can follow Shawn personally out on all the social media places the Instagrams and all of that I was on the football with you now I mean we’re just kicking off here and we’re we got this baseball fever going on with the teams in first place. It doesn’t happen around here often you live here you know this right before the Nationals even exists This but football season and getting into it here and where the AFC is and all of these quarterbacks and Herbert gets his his bag and Lamar has got his back. I mean only one of these are going to survive in the AFC I know you’re partial to the Chargers even though it’s a little weird they’re playing up in LA to me. But this the stability of any franchises in the quarterback we went through the Lamar is on here all offseason, now that he’s got his money got to go out and play but this is a very, very competitive field, the AFC this year more than everything,
Shawne Merriman 10:30
no question about it. And you know, Lamar, I’m glad that they got that done, right? Because now you can kind of pin your ears back, just concentrate on football, whenever you go into these contract negotiations is, you know, the reporters, the B writers, the guys that come in the locker room every day after practice asking you about hey, how do you feel about your teammate? And is that a distraction? He’s not paid. I mean, it’s such a distraction when guys are going through a contract situation so I’m glad they got that done. And they had to because as you just said that AFC is so damn competitive. Even other day you know, people i When people ask me all the time hey, why don’t you guys get a ring? Right? Why don’t you guys get a ring? Well, guess what? I had to go to Ben Roethlisberger. Peyton Manning did Tom Brady. Right. That’s three you know, Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame. quarterbacks. Let’s look at what’s going on now. Right? You got
Nestor Aparicio 11:19
you might add Hall of Fame quarterback with you? Yeah. Right.
Shawne Merriman 11:23
Right. What we did, you had to go through these other guys. Now if you look at the AFC now you got to go through six guys. You got to go through six top tier quarterbacks in order to win a championship and the now the just the battle to get to that plat to that platform to a championship. That role is much tougher than it’s ever been in the last two decades of football because now you have Patrick mahomes You have Lamar Jackson, you got Justin Herbert Burro, Aaron Rodgers, who’s in the AFC Lourdes, Lourdes that’s down to Jacksonville. He’s even coming around. So you have like six guys you have to go through in order to get to that point. You know, the FC is rough, it’s rough to get there.
Nestor Aparicio 12:06
But you can’t be one of those teams if you don’t have that guy. And I guess that’s one of the Ravens last time you and I got together. You were doing your fights back in the spring and Lamar is representing himself. He wants to be traded like all of this went on in the offseason. Now they go out and do Kumbaya, they got a new offense installing obj shows up me the Ravens loaded up this year. And I think we live through the Flacco era of when your quarterback is 20 to 24 26% of your cap that it becomes very, very hard to compete. This feels like an all in year for the Ravens here
Shawne Merriman 12:38
it is and they brought in all the right pieces they did and also to them have a new offensive coordinator nothing I don’t want to kind of throw throw dirt on the former offensive coordinator but let’s let’s face it, in my opinion, those injuries and things that happened to Lamar is because they put him in a position to have to use his legs. He you know, when you pay the quarterback that amount we know he can do when he runs the ball. But that should be the last option to go on and make a big play. They had designed plays, whether it was drawers, run, pass, read off RPO like you can’t use your main guy even though he’s more than capable of creating these plays. You can’t put him in harm’s way. Right? Because if he goes down, that’s it. You don’t have anybody
Nestor Aparicio 13:17
you’re just doing that the last few years he’s gone down and that’s it right? Yeah, that’s what we did. If you can’t
Shawne Merriman 13:22
get out, but one thing we know about Lamar Jackson, he has a big arm. Right? And so what do you do to get to capable wide receivers now we’ll get stretched in football field, get the ball down the field and even with Odell you can throw him a quick slant a wide receiver screen he can take about 20 3040 plus yards so you got that you got to run it back was more than capable of getting it done now to you got to defense they brought in a guy who I trained with personally Chuck Smith who I think I think because bringing him in I think they’re going to finish top and sacks I think the defense is going to defense and they’re gonna do extremely well. I trained with him during the offseason tell me
Nestor Aparicio 13:56
about Chuck a little bit give me a little insight into that and and more than that when you haven’t Adelphi oh when you have young guys that have been watching Justin Houston do this you know watching world class guys like yourself get after the quarterback. I mean it’s an art but it’s a science right
Shawne Merriman 14:12
Chuck Smith will get the most out of those guys that they didn’t even know they had right and so even me going to him I’ve already been to multiple Pro Bowls all pros and all this I learned so much in the time I trained with him because he’ll look at you and say listen you need to add this to do that it’s a science to him there’s nobody to know more about the pass rusher capabilities and what you need to do technical wise on your technique to be great and he understands like this guy you might you might have a guy that’s not athletically gifted right you got some guys who just not there but he will find a way to get the most out of you so I’m going to be watching this year that’s not you know, to be honest, that’s not talked about enough. That’s the hem them bringing him in is just not talked about enough. We talked about being a me and kellen moore and all these offseason offseason edition And shucksmith is not being talked about enough because they’re going to get after it on that defensive line. Did you grow up
Nestor Aparicio 15:06
at a DMV burgundy and gold? I’m thinking you probably did.
Shawne Merriman 15:10
I liked the players I’ve never I never had a team unfortunately my house was split growing up I had Dallas Cowboys fans have Redskins fans growing up in households a 5050 but I’d never I’d never chose a side
Nestor Aparicio 15:23
okay because I I would just think like a kid growing up where you grew up the team now going back into a different direction a different ownership Lord knows bad ownership will get you blown up i i don’t need to tell you what got your franchise moved in one way right and the league and everything that’s going on with the league but trying to fix franchises and heal them your franchise and signing Herbert and all that. Give me a little charger piece of this because I mean, I know you take that with you everywhere you go. They just spent a lot of money on a quarterback. They believe that they can beat Lamar Jackson and they can be a Patrick mahomes and that they’re going to be that team out there.
Shawne Merriman 15:58
Well, no question about it. And I think that the addition with kellen moore coming in, right this is this is a perfect storm. We’re talking about Justin Herbert, no question. No doubt about it. He has the strongest arm in the National Football League. This guy is there. I remember the first time I walked into him I thought he played tight end or defensive and this guy’s huge when he walks through the door and he has a cannon. So what is kellen moore love to do? He loves to get the ball down the field. That’s what he’s great at doing open up the offense. Then you got three capable wide receivers and the tight end and Everett who can who can be explosive, regardless of the talk of Austin Eckler in the contract negotiation and things that happen in that run the back position over the last few weeks. He is the most dynamic running back in the NFL as far as what he’s gonna do out the backfield running the ball catching the ball, you can use them anywhere. So that offense is they’re on pace to have a 5000 Plus, you know, we’re just gonna throw 5000 Plus, I think they’re gonna have three wide receivers over 1000 yards this year. I think Austin Eckler is going to have this big his biggest year because they’re going to be able to stretch the field so much. And it’s just it’s an exciting time for them. But first and foremost, they had to take care of Justin Herbert and they did you feel
Nestor Aparicio 17:02
for these running backs Shawn that aren’t getting paid i i had Josh Jacobs agent now Chad, we sling a hater chat. So I had chatted a couple of weeks ago for crabcake over at spirits West, over and Wilkins avenue we were talking for an hour about running backs into position. And I mean, you played a position that when Deacon Jones is they they didn’t really value it, you know, sacking the quarterback that’s nice. You sack the quarterback, you take it down, then all of a sudden it became like a closer in baseball during your era before your era. It became something like if you can’t sack the quarterback, you can’t win in the league. And guys like you got paid because of that.
Shawne Merriman 17:40
Yeah, and it just goes with the time. It’s unfortunate, right. But I think that most people have to do this. You have to take your top seven to 10 guys out of that runningback category because they do so much for your team. Right we’ll say, say Quan Barkley, they’re not the same team when he’s not on the field. Right Josh Jacobs if he’s off the field, the Raiders are not the same team Polish
Nestor Aparicio 18:01
football ball 49% of their plays.
Shawne Merriman 18:05
So I get it the shelf life of these guys are short. And you got to you got to put that into you know, when you calculate everything and figuring it out. What would you have a guy that’s a game breaker, right when you haven’t got as a game breaking, it could change the complexity of your whole entire offense. He you can’t categorize him as a runner back this guy’s a game changer. Right and you only have about seven plus guys in an old National Football League that you can’t just plug and play and say we just throw God back there and went to football games. It didn’t happen that way.
Nestor Aparicio 18:36
Shawn Merriman is here he will be there on August 26. And out in Southern California you can watch the fight so fubo You can also find a bit lights out x f.com and I’ll have you back on at some point when the leafs get the change here maybe in October as we get into November when you’re doing your coat drive down in College Park as the Terps roll it out. Maybe football team will be 61 or 62 by then I don’t know she’ll maybe be heads or there’s some kind of bowl that’s not the tidy bowl but hey, I appreciate you coming on. Good luck with this. You have headliners on your who are your pick fights fighters on your card on this
Shawne Merriman 19:10
one. Yeah, we got to form events and Jonathan vedera A guy that I want everybody to watch out for to this is going to be a star my TOS he is already sign up believable but the sign with UFC contender show I got about three guys that will be moving on to the UFC After this fight
Nestor Aparicio 19:25
about that or bad about that? Yeah, it’s gradually look,
Shawne Merriman 19:28
I played the University of Maryland I want to go into NFL right i mean that’s that’s just that’s just what it is and why we’re growing and we’re growing great. We the viewership of football and eyeballs that we’re getting we’re growing obviously. But we love giving these guys an opportunity. There’s plenty of fighters out there that’s looking for the opportunity and we want to make sure we give it to him.
Nestor Aparicio 19:46
All right, man. We can follow Sean out on the social media places and fallen down to College Park couple months from now. Always good that you come home and visit I’m worthy Terpstra colors here for I get a little state flag going on here. We’ll be at Pappas later on in the month. Dan and Anna Rondo can And next week it is our 25th anniversary on August 3 will be over Costas and Dundalk. So nice. We’ll do it twice. We’ll go back to Dundalk to drug city all day Friday. Make sure you’re coming it’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery has some scratch offs to give away and our friends at window nation 866 90 nation you buy two, you get two free two years 0% financing all summer long. Sounds like a Kid Rock song. I am Nestor. We are W NSTA and 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stop talking Baltimore positive