James Haskell: Former England rugby union star to make MMA debut in May

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'This is not a PR stunt' - Haskell on MMA

Former England rugby union international James Haskell will make his professional mixed martial arts debut on 16 May at Wembley's SSE Arena.

The 34-year-old will fight on the undercard of the Bellator promotion, with his opponent yet to be decided.

The former Wasps and Northampton Saints flanker, who won 77 caps for England, retired from rugby last year.

Haskell has been preparing for his debut at the London Shootfighters gym, alongside Michael 'Venom' Page.

"Mike Tyson said it - everyone has got a plan until you get hit in the face. But for me it is a test, it's a journey," Haskell told BBC Sport last year.

"I'm not messing around with this. There has been overwhelming support but some people think it's a bit like a scene out of Rocky III.

"I'm dedicating my life to this. I want to make sure I am in the best possible shape and whatever happens at the end of it I am going to put as much dedication into this as I did into rugby.

"I'm deadly serious about it. I don't want it to be the case where I get into the cage and I look like I've never taken a punch before, it looks like I'm just here for fun. I'm not about that."

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