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James Haskell becomes MMA fighter

OHMYGOSSIP — James Haskell is becoming a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter.
The former England rugby international player has signed up with MMA’s Bellator, just months after retiring from a 17-year career in rugby.
James, 35, who is married to Chloe Madeley, will join the heavyweight division in the combat sport.
James shared a picture of himself – wearing Bellator branded clothing – on Instagram and wrote: “Soooooooo! This is happening @bellator.europe. The journey begins and I could not be more excited. @shootfightersofficial is now my new home.”
Bellator also posted the picture and wrote: “Welcome to the team, @jameshask. The international rugby star is set to compete in the Bellator heavyweight division!”
In a second post, Bellator added: “After finishing up a stellar 17-year professional rugby career, @jameshask has officially made the jump to MMA.Who’s excited for his Bellator debut? #Haskell2020.”
Bellator confirmed that his debut fight is “expected to take place during the first half of 2020” and posted a short video showing James training.
Shootfighters London posted their own picture of the athlete and wrote: “London shootfighters Rugby superstar @jameshask is now a @bellatormma @bellator.europe fighter!! Let’s get it!! LSF4LIFE (sic).”
James has previously trained with British MMA fighter Michael ‘Venom’ Page and worked as a television pundit covering MMA.
Back in 2012, James told that he had been interested in MMA for three years and he used it to help him train for rugby.
He said: “I’ve been interested in mixed martial arts for around three years. I have the same physio as the guys at Shootfighters and he got me into it. It’s a fantastic form of training, it builds strength and endurance and has helped me to manipulate and move people on the rugby pitch. It has definitely benefitted my game.
“For me, Ju-Jitsu is the best aspect of MMA. The skill level is just incredible. It teaches you how to control and move your opponent, which is obviously key for me. I regret not doing boxing as a kid because the footwork and movement you learn is so important, being able to rotate your body correctly is vital for every sport.”
However, at the time, he ruled out going professional.
He said: “With my rugby commitments, I could only ever be an amateur mixed martial artist but I love the sport and want to improve. I’m very competitive and would like to compete but obviously it’s very difficult, these guys are incredibly talented and dedicated.”

Source: Herald Mail Media
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