Shawne Merriman, who made a name for himself on the gridiron in the NFL, will compete for the World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation this coming fall.

Merriman signed a deal with the WBKFF to compete at “Rise of the Titans” from the Capser Events Center in Casper, Wyoming.

The 34-year-old Merriman, fighting out of Los Angeles, played 8 seasons in the NFL between 2005 and 2012 between 2005 and 2012 for the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills. He was drafted out of the University of Maryland in the first round, 12th overall pick, by the Chargers in the 2005 NFL draft.

“This is really exciting for me,” Merriman said. “It’s a real privilege and honor for me to come out and fight. Thank you to everyone at the World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation for your support. It’s time for Lights Out!”

Known as an extremely physical football player, the 6′ 4″ Merriman will take his powerful presence into the ring as a bare-knuckle fighter, against his heavyweight opponent to be announced.

“We are thrilled to have Shawne as part of our team,” WBKFF CEO Tom Stankiewicz commented. “It’s a very exciting time for everyone. Shawne was a proven warrior on the field and we look forward to seeing him in the ring. We feel that Shawne’s signing with WBKFF opens the doors to champions from all sports and shows that he has the guts and courage to step into this gladiator sport. Bare knuckle fighting is the combat sport for the 21st century. We welcome Shawne as part of our family!”

The event will feature Chris Leben vs. Phil Baroni in the main event, along with an eight-man lightweight tournament that includes Melvin Guillard, Tom Gallicchio, Josh Neer and Isaac Vallie Flagg.