Shawne MerrimanConsidering MMA FightI've Talked with Bellator
10/2/2016 12:55 AM PT
Shawne Merriman could be the the next NFL star to get in the cage -- telling TMZ Sports he's actually had talks with Bellator about a real MMA fight ... and he's dead serious.
The former NFL star has been training with MMA fighters for almost a decade -- and says he'd be down to do it, if the conditions were right.
In fact, Shawne says he's jokingly talked to Bellator president Scott Coker about it -- but says, "there's always some seriousness behind every joke."
We asked Coker about the possibility of S.M. steppin' into the cage. He told us, "Shawne is a great friend to Bellator with some serious martial arts skills. I have no doubt that he could find success in this sport and when he's ready for his first fight, we'll be here to promote it."
Watch the clip -- seems like Shawne means business ... especially when we brought up CM Punk.