Former England rugby player James Haskell is confirmed to make his highly-anticipated MMA debut at Bellator London on May 16, 2020.
The former England international rugby player concluded his 17-year rugby career in 2019, prior to announcing his decision to join the Bellator roster.
Now he is set to put his MMA training to the test in his first professional fight. He will be competing on his home turf at the SSE Arena in Wembley. An opponent has not been confirmed yet, but this is expected to be announced in the upcoming weeks. The former Wasps and Northampton Saints flanker won 77 caps for England and believes he has what it takes to make a smooth transition to MMA.
“I wouldn’t have agreed to it if I didn’t believe I could pull it off,” Haskell said (via Standard Sport.) “My coaches are going to tell me what to do. It’s about them formulating a plan, what is going to work for me and what isn’t going to work for me.”
Haskell has been training in MMA at the MMA London Shootfighters gym for almost a decade to improve his athletic abilities. The gym is also the home of Bellator stars Michael “Venom” Page and Mike Shipman. He credits his team for getting him ready for his MMA debut:
“They are specialists, I am excited to see what they can do with me and they will dictate everything,” he said. “I don’t really have an opinion for once in my life which is quite nice.”
Haskell will be on the same card as up-and-coming Irish star, James Gallagher who will be fighting a hometown fighter Cal Ellenor in a Bantamweight bout. Their anticipated matchup has rescheduled twice due to injury.
James Haskell will be joining the heavyweight roster currently championed by Ryan Bader, who has held the Bellator Heavyweight title since January 2019.
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on 20th February, 2020.