Chris McCain blocked a punt while he was playing special teams during his very first snap as a professional football player. In that same game between the Dolphins and Patriots, he would line up on the defensive side of the ball and sack Tom Brady.
“It was an out-of-body experience,” said McCain.
He will now take that out-of-body experience with him to the Octagon.
The former defensive end had a $1.9 million restricted free agency tender offer for 2018 from the Chargers, but once an accusation of him spitting on a woman and grabbing her neck surfaced, the franchise would soon rescind the offer. The accusation resulted in two counts of misdemeanor battery. McCain would sign with the Indianapolis Colts, but would be released during the 2018 preseason.
He has decided to leave the sport entirely because he thinks the bulk of his issues centered around the sport and the money he was making.
“I had hit the worst points of my life when I was playing in the NFL,” McCain said. “I just can’t [return to the NFL]. There is no point. More money, more problems. No point. Less money, less problems. I’m not making nearly as much as I was making in the NFL, and I don’t hear from nearly over 80 percent of the people I met and know, which I’m thankful for. God showed me something. I’m blessed with the people still in my corner and people I talk to, but definitely showed me something.”
McCain would soon text former Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman and express his interest in fighting.
“I just got a lot of anger and frustration,” McCain said. “I really needed to figure out what it is I can do to really help me express myself, and football just wasn’t enough. I’m getting tired of being fined for stuff. Fighting in the locker room. Fighting on the field. Sitting out a practice because you’re fighting in practice. Had joint practices with different teams, getting in fights on that. It was just a lot. I just think this is what I need to be doing. . . . To be in the NFL, it’s not worth the stress and depression. It’s really not.”
“This is my therapy, me beating you up, and I can beat you up the right way,” McCain said.
He makes his official MMA debut on Saturday against Jamal Harris, who is an unpaid amateur in Merriman’s second Lights Out Xtreme Fighting event.
He finished his collegiate career with 90 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and five sacks in 24 games.
McCain racked up five sacks in 15 appearances during the 2017 season with the Chargers.