Former Charger Chris McCain wins amateur MMA debut fight

By Travis Wakeman
CARSON, CA - AUGUST 20: Running back Darius Victor #34 of the New Orleans Saints hangs on to the ball as defensive end Chris McCain #40 of the Los Angeles Chargers tries to strip it from him during the second half of a preseason football game against the New Orleans Saints at the StubHub Center August 20, 2017, in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - AUGUST 20: Running back Darius Victor #34 of the New Orleans Saints hangs on to the ball as defensive end Chris McCain #40 of the Los Angeles Chargers tries to strip it from him during the second half of a preseason football game against the New Orleans Saints at the StubHub Center August 20, 2017, in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Chris McCain can now be found trading punches inside an octagon.

After bouncing around the NFL, McCain saw his future as a mixed martial arts fighter and made his amateur debut on Saturday night as part of a show put on by another former Chargers linebacker, Shawne Merriman.

Merriman started his own MMA promotion, Lights Out Xtreme Fighting in April. Saturday’s show was the second for the promotion.

McCain fought Jamal Harris (0-2) at the event in Burbank, California and won the fight by TKO at 38 seconds of the second round. It was a bright start for McCain who has to believe he has made the right decision in his new career path.

Former Charger Chris McCain recorded a second-round TKO in his MMA amateur debut during Shawne Merriman’s Lights Out XF event. Keenan Allen was cageside to see it pic.twitter.com/qaYI0BHYt3

— Gilbert Manzano (@GManzano24) July 7, 2019

Keenan Allen was in attendance to see him do it.

McCain spent two seasons with the Chargers. He had a particularly strong 2017 season in which he registered five sacks for the team. He signed with the Indianapolis Colts last May after the Chargers chose not to re-sign him following the season, a move that was a curious one at the time.

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McCain was injured during the summer and was subsequently released by the Colts before later signing with the Columbus Destroyers of the Arena League. Undrafted out of California in 2014, McCain also spent time with the Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints, where he had two separate stints.

He joins a growing group of former NFL players who have turned in their helmets and pads for a pair of four-ounce gloves. That list includes Matt Mitrione, Eryk Anders, Austen Lane and Herschel Walker.

Perhaps the biggest name on that list, and not for the greatest of reasons, is that of former Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, who now competes in the UFC.

McCain will have to prove himself as an amateur before being able to pursue his new career professionally, but he’s certainly off to a good start.

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