Coming to an octagon near you this offseason: the terrifying torturer of quarterbacks, “Jurassic Myles.”
Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl defensive end Myles Garrett is jumping on the train of NFL players to use MMA as a training, according to a report from Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.
Ulrich said he spoke to former Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman — who was at Jarvis Landry’s celebrity softball game on Saturday — who said that Garrett will be training with him.
Merriman recently launched an MMA promotion called Lights Out Xtreme Fighting. The name is a reference to the former All-Pro’s “Lights Out” nickname.
At 6-foot-4, 271 pounds and with world-class athleticism, it might be hard to find Garrett any sparring partners.
Garrett is due for another big year after a season coming off a season where he notched 44 total tackles, including 35 solo stops, playing in all 16 games. He also recorded 13.5 sacks, earning him a second-team All-Pro nod.
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And the former No. 1 overall pick might just be scratching the surface.
Garrett made headlines this offseason when he said defensive coordinator and interim head coach Gregg Williams wanted him to use just two pass rush moves.
“I hopefully have more freedom to be the player I want to be,” Garrett said, according to a profile by Bleacher Report. “[Former defensive coordinator and interim head coach] Gregg [Williams] was more like: ‘You win with these two moves. I don’t want to see anything else out of you.’ It’s kind of hard with two moves.”
Merriman Gives High Praise To Garrett
As an outside linebacker, Merriman had 45 sacks in his NFL career with the Chargers and Bills and knew how to get to the quarterback.
According to Dan Labbe of cleveland.com, Merriman could see star traits from Garrett early.
“That guy, even when he came out of Texas A&M, I watched him and I said this guy is going to be a star,” Merriman told Labbe. “Not a really good player, I’m talking about like a star and will be known as one of the best to do it before it’s said and done.”
Merriman also made note of the Browns’ offseason moves, saying it shows the team wants to win right now.
MMA Popular For Training Among NFLers
Jay Glazer, an NFL Insider and owner of Unbreakable — a gym that attracts many NFL players — has long implemented MMA as a form of offseason training for all those who are brave enough.
“The mindset is totally different,” Packers tight end Marcedes Lewis told Sports Illustrated of the experience in 2015. “It’s one-on-one, and once that cage calls, there ain’t no teammates. You mess up, you get knocked out.”
Some NFL players end up loving MMA so much, they pursue it as a career after playing their final game on the football field.
NFL legend Herschel Walker has two wins in Strikeforce on his resume.
More recently, former Cowboys and Panthers defensive tackle Greg Hardy has gone 4-1 in his fights. Hardy most recently beat Dmitry Smoliakov at UFC Fight Night 150.
Hardy — a former All-Pro — has not been in the NFL because of a domestic violence conviction that was later overturned on a technicality, according to USA Today.
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