Retired rugby star James Haskell turns to MMA

Former England Rugby star James Haskell has signed with MMA promotion Bellator in a bid to launch a new career in cage fighting.

34 year old Haskell has been training with London Shootfighters along with Kickboxing superstar Michael Venom Page, and is now working full time in preparation for his first bout, yet to be announced.

With 77 England caps to his name, he's no stranger to the limelight, and having only retired from his playing role at Northampton Saints in May, is in great shape to make a go of it.

Haskell will feature in the heavyweight division and is due to make his Bellator debut in the new year. The former England flanker has trained sporadically in MMA throughout his career to aid his fitness and improve his tackling.

He made a statement on social media after the news of his move into MMA was announced, saying:

‘The journey begins and I could not be more excited. Shootfighters is now my new home.’

It will be interesting to see if he can replicate any of the success he enjoyed throughout a glittering rugby career. One thing is for certain, the renowned shootfighters team will have him well prepared.

Image Source - Chris Boland