09:00AM, Monday 24 February 2020
The former Windsor and Maidenhead rugby colt James Haskell is set to make his pro Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) debut for the promoter Bellator at London’s Wembley Arena on Saturday, May 16.
The former England international is on the undercard for the main event in Wembley, MMA bantamweight star James ‘The Strabanimal’ Gallagher’s bout with Sunderland’s Cal ‘Pacino’ Ellenor.
Haskell’s opponent will be announced nearer the date.
Haskell will be making one of the most highly anticipated debuts in recent Bellator history and it will be aired live on Channel 5 from 10pm. Standing at 6ft4ins and weighing in at around 260lbs, Haskell will compete in Bellator’s heavyweight division alongside the likes of current champion Ryan Bader, main challenger Cheik Kong and MMA veterans Josh Barnett and Fedor Emelianenko.
Bellator – a leading promoter of mixed martial arts and kickboxing – unveiled Haskell as their new heavyweight signing back in August 2019 following his retirement from rugby.
The 34-year-old has enjoyed a successful playing career, representing his country in two Rugby World Cups and playing a key role in his country’s Six Nations title wins in 2016 and 2017, which included a first Grand Slam in 13 years.
He’s hoping to transform that success into the MMA cage and has been preparing for his first pro debut at London Shootfighters where he’s been training alongside the likes of MMA star Michael ‘Venom’ Page.
Further bouts on the night will be announced in due course. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, February 28 and can be purchased online from ssearena.co.uk, www.axs.com/uk or ticketmaster.co.uk.
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