Rolling Out

Why former NFL player Shawne Merriman turned to MMA as his next venture

Shawne Merriman create his own MMA tour called ‘Lights Out Extreme Fighting’

Once Shawne Merriman stepped away from football, his next venture was to pursue his other passion, MMA. That led to creating his own MMA tour called Lights Out Extreme Fighting. He has continued to build the program as time goes on.

Merriman sat down with rolling out to discuss the benefits of MMA and tips that he could give young athletes for their finances.

What are the benefits of MMA and boxing?

Most people feel like they wish they could punch somebody in the face at some point in time. Let’s be honest; we all have somebody we want to punch right in the mouth. But the second part of that is, for one, it’s being disciplined and learning the craft, and also finding a way to push yourself. As a former athlete, when you get done, you look for something to compete in, and it’s not there anymore. I think that with mixed martial arts especially, I still hit the pads two to three days a week. I’ll spar sometimes once a week or something like that, and once every other week, I’ll jump in the ring and get me three rounds. I think for me it’s just keeping that competitive edge, but there’s also something about the average person that didn’t play sports that’s getting into that and being able to compete and feeling good about themselves, and being in shape because you get into shape for this. Punching nonstop for three minutes and moving around and doing that stuff is the ultimate game-changer when it comes to conditioning and your body, but more importantly, it makes you feel accomplished when you leave the gym. That’s what I know more so than anything when I talk to people that have tried boxing, jujitsu, or some type of Muay Thai.

What are some financial tips that you can give to young athletes looking to keep their finances right?

First of all, you have to create a couple of avenues to make money whether it’s passive income, whether that’s residual income, you have to have these things on deck because everybody gonna spend money. Going around trying to penny-pinch is not the way. You work hard and want to live a nice lifestyle, but also you’re not trying to go out and come out the pocket for everything either. It’s important to create these other avenues where you have this residual and passive income, even when you’re done. If you’re making a certain amount of money, you want it to keep coming in while you’re lying in bed. That’s the key. The other thing is to start getting into things when you can use your name, not your money because we as athletes who have names, you got capital in your name, you got capital in your connections and relationships that other people don’t have. So don’t feel the pressure of having to spend money every time somebody wants you to come and do a business deal because they’re gonna use your name to go raise more money. Realize that’s what you’re there for. Like, “Why did you want me a part of your business deal so much? You can go get anybody to get money, but you want me to because of my name.” When you learn how to use your name and not your money, you change the game a little bit.

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