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Our returning Maryland Terps legend and MMA media mogul Shawne Merriman joins Nestor to talk Lights Out Sports media and his next MMA card on Preakness night. Oh, and some Chargers lightning bolts here with real expectations for Joe Hortiz and Jim Harbaugh out in LaLa Land.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

sports, shawn merriman, year, lights, coming, chargers, talking, promotion, fights, baltimore, fan base, ufc, games, fighters, maryland, platform, wrestling, moved, man, great

SPEAKERS

Shawne Merriman, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore we’re getting going here Baltimore positive we’re gonna be data families this Friday next Friday doing it with the Maryland lottery giving away the Pac Man scratch offs. Also our friends at Liberty pure solutions with clean water for me here during you can’t gotta stay hydrated during this pennant race getting going early. As well as our friends at Jiffy Lube. Multi care will be a fade. These are two of the five during the Maryland crab cake tour, getting it back out on the road. We get a lot of things going on the 25th anniversary documentaries out there. And this guy returns every time he’s putting on the fights. I’ll add on the internet. I gotta be honest, the first time that Shawn Merriman said FUBU to me, I didn’t even know what that was. Now I hear it all over the place. He’s always on the front end of this stuff. He has a new app coming out and he has a main event going on lights out sports on the 18th that is known as Preakness night here in Baltimore. We welcome back he is herping Our defending champion Shawn Merriman, just no doubt toxin chargers I ranted orgies and hardball since the last time I think the whole span of this group as well. How are you? How are the fights doing this spring your shot?

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Shawne Merriman  01:06

They’re great man. And we aren’t here we got a big one coming up may 18 To be in Long Beach, California. But this was this was a little bit different. We got 19 fights in one night, which is a long long, like almost a five hour show. But this won’t be live on my new newly launched lights, our Sports TV, multi sports platform, y’all we have poker and outdoor fishing, hunting outdoor Americans coming on. Glory, kickboxing, a lot of motorsports motocross, darts, chest, you name it. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:37

this is gonna be your network. You moved on to your own platform now. Correct?

Shawne Merriman  01:43

Yes, yes. And we’re right now we’re up on all major TV platform, Roku, Samsung firestick. Apple TV, you can download it now on your, if you got a Apple or Android, you can download it there. So we’re pretty much everywhere. So by Friday, you will have about four to six channels up on there. The next pilot we got that will have another six channels. So it’s all free, by the way. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:05

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I was gonna go with this because part of like, I’ve seen this FUBU thing now that mass is on there. And I hear fire sticks. Dude, I’m older than you. I know I look young and sexy. But it’s true. I you know, I go back to cable coming to my neighborhood. And having three channels right. And everything. I do a Baltimore positive open platform as well. And I see paywalls and I see pay services and obviously streaming services, you want to watch the Tom Brady rhostyllen Netflix, you got to pay and all everything we’re doing with Amazon Prime on a Thursday night games. They’re blacking out football playoff games. Now, so your ID is free for your programming Correct.

Shawne Merriman  02:44

100%. And to me, I’ve been, like, for example, I’ve been around a NASCAR circuit in motorsports for almost almost 17 years now, obviously been in combat sports, you know, I’ve been fishing, hunting, you know. So I have a nice background with all this. But it’s a lot of niche sports, and eSports that just wasn’t getting seen, right. So there’s all these places, these fragmented YouTube, these other streaming platforms, but there wasn’t very many all sports platforms out there where you could just go watch sports, you don’t want to see any movies, sitcoms, or anything else you want to see just sports. So I wanted to create a locker room. And that’s just what I did when I saw Sports TV. So and it was important for me to make it free and available to the public free on all these major platforms Roku and Samsung and LG TVs, Philip, they’re, they’re all up there, Comcast will be here in the next week or two cars gonna be all over the Comcast network as well. zumo TVs. So um, it’s great man, because this is something that really takes us to the next level. Now it’s visible everywhere, football is great, we’ll still have our fights on a replay basis on football. But live the fights will only be on lights out sports, which is, which is really cool for us.

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:54

So tell me about the car, tell me what these fighters come from. And now we’ll get some football with you. Because you know, I’m way more to the football and the fighters. But I do want to promote your I mean, I respect your entrepreneurial beside of what you’ve tried to do here above and beyond what other people I mean, you could have been a broadcast ticket job with the NFL Network, whatever. You’re obviously zoned in on all of that. But I think you’ve pictured something different. And I just released my documentary about how what I’ve done. I’m a little weird here, Shawn and ham radio and go into the web unless I just see this entrepreneurial side up to saying Being a former football player and being in the ring of this and the charges of that and sign an order. You could still do all of that stuff. You do your thing with your coach Dan in Maryland, you’re a great Terps alum. But this gets you out of bed in the morning and I don’t think it’s about making money. It’s about sort of building something, right?

Shawne Merriman  04:40

That’s exactly what it is. And to me. You know, I worked at some of the biggest networks. When I retired. I went straight to NFL Network. I’ve worked at Fox Sports couple years I worked at ESPN. I worked in the WWE Network when they first launched a three by four weeks three four weeks ago. I just did TNA I do the Pay Per View wrestling match About three or four weeks ago, which by the way TNA wrestling, they have a channel or lifestyle Sports TV. So when you have that opportunity, as I did, on the broadcasting side of timeless, I right being able to talk about this all the sports, but also building a shows understanding production, everything that we do my own MMA promotion, all of our production is done in house, we’ve always built these shows, and it’s and all this content. So as you know, you just dropped me a documentary, I want more sports documentaries, I want to be able to have my creative ideas and just go straight to market with it where everybody can see it. And there’s nothing wrong with it. I still work with blue bow and Bally’s and Pluto and be in sports, I work with all these guys still. But to be able to have this platform where you can drive traffic where everybody can go to one place and see it. And we can drop things when a drop of a dime was very, very important to me that that’s why I did it. Obviously my fans, my my fan base and my people that didn’t follow me all the careers, really heavy in sports. So I knew that launching this platform will really be a game changer for us. And it has been Shawn Merriman

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Nestor J. Aparicio  06:09

is our guest, he’s lights out, of course, you know, the chargers, and then we’ll get to some NFL talk, I definitely want to do that. But just on the side of the industry, and I’ve done a lot on Wrestling lately, I had a guy named Brad volution on a couple weeks ago, who did this WrestleMania thing chasing down the Iron Sheik and and all the behind the dark side of the ring that Vice does with the old wrestling. And, you know, I just see the beginning sort of the beginnings of MMA when John Rolla would come in here and talk about a show gun fights where I grew up with here in Maryland, I’m sure you know, puts his fights on here locally. I saw Shogun as his little regional local thing here in Maryland. And I saw Dana White doing this UFC thing when it was sort of illicit. And they weren’t talking about it on ESPN on Saturday night, going back 15 years ago. And then I see what wrestling was in the 70s and 80s, where you had the missed out promotion and NWA. And this promotion and that promotion. And you just mentioned TNA, or we can mention aw or WWE. So much of this really was Vince McMahon having what you have, which is I have a promotion. And I’m going to create media, whether I by channel 45, on Saturday afternoon to create my promotions. But the more robust side of this that allowed you an avenue to train fighters have fighters have a gym have had promotions, pay fighters, your fighters, all the things that you need to do to make a promotion happen. Where did this come from for you? Was this from watching wrestling or Dana White to say that this can be a business and not just you’re going to be a gym train or something like that? Because you’ve always been zoned in on owning the promotion. That’s all. It’s always had your name on? It lights out. That is your name, right?

Shawne Merriman  07:44

Yeah. And it was important to me because I think that I’m like you got to crawl before you run. So you can’t just jump in these type of businesses unless you have experience working on a big scale on a big scale. So you bring up this big man, when I first met Vince, I was spending time with him right through doing a smackdown to Monday Night Raw was actually hosted on WWE Network, one of the WrestleMania was when it was in New Orleans. So get a chance to spend time with him and obviously have a good relationship with Dana, working at NFL network working at Fox was working at ESPN, and seeing that she had a scope. So I had about 15 years of being around anything before I launched and started getting into it on my own. And then I started to have you know what? I have these creative ideas. I’ve been around the biggest of the best when it comes to production networks and how things ran on the back in. But I had my ideas the way I wanted to do things and I wasn’t capable of doing that. Because you’re not going to go to Vince McMahon and say, Vince, I got this idea I want you to Benny happening right now. And we got a great relationship. Don’t get me wrong, but you’re not going to Dana because they they built their idea. They built their creative ideas that they had and they ran with it. And so it was time for me to kind of branch off and Bill my creative ideas when I had put lights out. And so right now we’re the fastest growing regional promotion in the country when it comes to lights out extreme fighting. And now with us going on lifestyle sports, we’re a click of a button if you got Roku or Samsung Vizio or any Philips LG TVs, or Android app, what you firestick Apple TV, if you got any one of these platforms, you can go to us and watch all of our fights and the rest of these other sports as well. You know, motocross and fishing, hunting, all the things that I’ve been wanting to do over the past 15 years, I’m now capable of bringing these ideas to life. All

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:33

right, lights out x f.com is the way to find them. You can also download the app. It’s brand new app for all the things we’re doing on the football thing here. We had a draft couple of weeks ago. What do you make of the chargers in totality being that you are one of their Hall of Famers? You’re a guy that has been there moving, you’re moving God bless San Diego. That’s where all my friends and family were, as well. Joe Ortiz was trying to recruit me um, you know, over To the you got plenty of room on the bandwagon I would say in the Chargers thing, but this has been a monumental kind of offseason for the program there. Right?

Shawne Merriman  10:08

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It’s um, you know, what’s different about this this offseason that they haven’t had? They’re in the past, I would say, decade or so is excitement. They haven’t and it’s nothing against Anthony Lin nothing against brand Estelle and nothing against, you know, the coaches who came in there but there hasn’t been this level of excitement in a fan base and organization and people around the organization since I left that group, right? Not me personally, but since that those teams around that mid to late 2000s breaking into your 2000 10s that excitement just wasn’t there. You know, they bring coach in and like okay, well, there’ll be there’ll be able to do something, no, people walk around. I’ll tell you right now that organization that building with their chest poked out, I mean, there’s a sense of pride that that hasn’t been there for a long time. And it’s because of the the base the fundamentals have changed him hardball, coming in establishing the mentality, also bringing Ortiz bringing, you know, the strength and conditioning coach. It is a it was a different team. It was a different organization that has been there in the last decade or so. And one thing we know that Jim Hochberg has done in his past, it’s been able to change programs and organizations around pretty quickly. And he’s done it far less what he’s done it with far less than adjusted Herbert far less than with two outstanding linebackers or pass rushers and Bosa and Khalil Mack and he didn’t have a Derwin James. So there’s a he didn’t have restaurants later. So he’s coming into organization where that mentality it was he’s instilling in these guys right now, he’s not talking about Super Bowl, he’s not talking about playoffs. He’s getting guys riled up in the gym. Right offseason workouts, that’s where the mentality has to be established. He’s doing it right now. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:58

I mean, as far as the changing culture, and the change, and all of that, just to try to get sort of established in LA to me from 3000 miles away and hope to see Pearl Jam there in two weeks. But from this far away, it’s really looked like, you know, I’ve often said there’ll be the team that’s in Frankfurt, or London or whatever, because establishing those routes in that place is going to take a lot of winning, especially on the backside of the Rams coming home and then winning a Super Bowl there right away that they sort of put their flag down. And I think it’s unfortunate everything that’s happened with the Chargers. But that being said, they won’t win 12 games this year. There’s no doubt about that. I don’t know what that would mean, in LA, but I just think it’s always been the time they move there. That never seemed like a great idea to me. And I’m an old school chargers guy, you know,

Shawne Merriman  12:43

and I’ll say this. Start from when he left San Diego, they moved up to that smaller, smaller stadium, they went to a smaller stadium.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:51

Run around out there Christmas week, that night, that was something man. That was crazy little,

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Shawne Merriman  12:58

like 30 32,000 people. They have done a tremendous job at converting that fan base and growing the new fame and I met, I met every home game. So I’ve seen it I saw when they first moved to even even less smaller stadium, it was 5050. So you got 32,000 You got 15 and 16,000 fans of someone else’s and 15 and 16,000. That’s not going to cut it. So when I started, they drafted Justin Herbert. And they moved to LA and I started to see the fanbase it started to get it wasn’t 5050 to 6040 now to 7030. And it kind of dwindled down when they started to lose. So that’s the thing about being in La La will come out and support the team when they’re winning. They will because you got to think a lot of people don’t they’re not from LA, right, these people move to LA they migrate to the to La they don’t they’re not from LA and so when you have a fan base and you’ve had a quarterback that winning games, they’ll come out and support you to the end. Now when you got a coach that is showing that he’s not able to be a head coach and turn that thing around, you start to see this fan base turn and when I’ve seen it, I’ve seen the bulls I’ve seen the opposite colored jerseys. I’ve seen that I’ve seen it coming to the end and that’s why ultimately they had to get rid of brand new Staley because they were losing that fan base that they actually did a really good job of rebuilding when they moved. And so Jim Harbaugh now is coming and re establishing and we don’t know right what if they go out 112 games this year. Let me tell you that is really good from where they were last year. Right They that’s really they were the best in town most talented team that didn’t make the playoffs. So they come in right now they went to a football game and gems first year. That is a really really good sign. Because you give it you give a guy you give a staff to three years to really good they’re so they come in to win 12 games that is a step in the right direction. I think they have a bigger chance to win. I think they have a chance to be in the number one team come on at Division. AFC West I think that they can be eat the cheese this year. What that new staff? Well, that running game, that new offense, that offensive line it just drafted Joe Oh, they got us they got a staff at wide receiver now they got a staff of guys who just came in. I think they got a chance to do it this year. I’m really trying to think around

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:13

Shawn Merriman this year he is a Maryland Terps grad he’ll be doing his his coat promotion. We’ll get him back on here about six months so once we get into football season, basketball season big 10 and and all that stuff. In the meantime, his fights are the eight TV streaming on lights out sports the main event, Roy edge avaria and Pablo Caballero. These fighters, where are you finding fighters for your car? You the matchmaker in this and through what you do with the lights out promotion, keeping an eye on a whole litany of weights in different different kinds of fighters to make styles make fights right now

Shawne Merriman  15:51

100% About that. So I have a great team of matchmaking Man, these guys are the best. But speaking of these two, this is our first international fight we’ve had where Roy and couple arrow both of these guys are going to bang it out. I think one of the two will probably end up in the UFC one day and and that’s why I got into this business man like my first UFC fight was in 2005. I believe it was a Randy Couture versus Chuck Liddell. And I remember walking in there and seeing the production and seeing the energy. And I said, Man, this is what I want to be I want to be around this for very this business for a long time. And that’s when I started to train with Randy Couture, I started to train with Chuck Liddell and I ease myself into this business. And so my goal is to get as many of these guys and opportunity to go to the UFC if I can do that, that is as a as a successful theater right as successful farm system to get these guys to that level. All along. When I’m building this massive and up and coming media company where lights are sports, we’re gonna have a funnel of these champions that’s home grown from lights out. That’s that’s the ultimate goal. One of the one of these two guys is going to end up in the UFC, we got, you know, the CO main event there with a Carrera he that he’s he’s another guy that has a real shot at going to the next level. So we got about three or four guys on this part alone, who I think have a real shot at being a superstar in the UFC. And that’s the goal. That’s why I got into this business.

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:16

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John Merriman joining us here Good luck to you Well, what you guys are doing out there come on back here to Maryland See you soon. And I got friends and family gotta get your proper crabcake up here in Baltimore kick gotta get your DC beltway brother what you

Shawne Merriman  17:28

saw so Ortiz, they won my heart when he stopped talking about obey in the press conference. I said you know what I liked I liked this guy. So you know we got we got the whole ravens Baltimore field and they started talking about crabcakes obey and the press conferences. I say you know what? They gotta listen games this year.

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:47

I spent a long time since I’ve been I’ve been doing this for two years in the media. 32 on the radio, never seen anything like this baseball team right now. And then obviously the prosperity of Lamar and the football team and coming this close in a championship game not running the ball enough but from Derrick Henry to drafting on the offensive line. We’ll come back bring you on talks ravens football after the fights but the good luck putting this stuff together. It’s always great that you make some time and good luck making your flight today get out man. You got it, man. Appreciate it. Joe Merriman. He is lights out sports and you can find the app out there anywhere lights out Shawn Merriman, and obviously anywhere we’re doing the good coat drive that he does down to College Park each and every fall I am Nestor. We are WNS da and 1570, Towson Baltimore, and we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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