Shawne Merriman knows first hand about the science of knocking people down, getting knocked down, and getting back up. Not just in the NFL, but in life and as a martial artist himself, he understands the physical and mental hurdles athletes go through to prepare to compete. So, when Lights Out Xtreme Fighting (LXF) had to be put on hold because of COVID-19 Merriman would have to deal with a hit that everyone felt around the world.
Merriman spoke to MyMMANews about how he fell in love with combat sports and how he started Lights Out Xtreme Fighting. He also talked about the hurdle the pandemic put on sports and how it came at a really bad time.
LXF 5 was supposed to happen on March 13, 2020. The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic on March 11. Merriman’s event was shut down the day of weigh-ins and he said, “my heart just dropped to the floor, I couldn’t believe it.”
“For us, we were on a high streak. We were kind of getting our feet up under us, more people were finding out about us,” Merriman said of the traction Lights Out Xtreme Fighting was picking up at the time. “Then we get shut down the day of the weigh-ins.”
Of course, he was mad, but having been a former athlete, Merriman felt the other side of what was happening too. “Me being a former athlete, what I also couldn’t believe (after those two seconds of being pissed off) is that these fighters, who have been in training camps for a few months to get paid and do this for a living. So yeah, I went from being pissed off for a couple of minutes, to being like, ‘Man, this sucks.’”
Especially for a new promotion picking up steam, it really did suck. However, like the rest of the world, Merriman and Lights Out Xtreme Fighting are moving forward. LXF 5 will take place at The Commerce Casino in Commerce, CA on August 7. Fighters will get to fight again and this is just the beginning.
Merriman said that news would be coming soon regarding where fans can watch the event, as well as some notable names of fighters coming into the promotion when they get going. One of the things Lights Out Xtreme Fighting was looking to do was crossover bouts with athletes from other sports stepping into the cage as fighters. This was back in 2019 before it became as popular as it is now and Merriman is still looking to do that too.
For more information visit LightsOutXF.com and check out the event page.
Edward holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Along with over 20 years martial arts experience, he co-hosts The Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour, and also writes for Sherdog while maintaining his own site, The Blogboard Jungle. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel