James Haskell is set to embark on a career in mixed martial arts after signing a contract with Bellator.
The former rugby flanker won 77 caps for England and represented Wasps and Northampton Saints in a 17-year career before retiring in May 2019.
Haskell is expected to make his debut as a heavyweight next year. The 34-year-old has worked as an MMA pundit on TV and trained alongside Michael ‘Venom’ Page at London Shootfighters gym.
Haskell will compete in Bellator’s heavyweight division alongside the likes of current champion Ryan Bader, Cheik Kongo, Josh Barnett and Fedor Emelianenko.
Bellator did not provide a date for his MMA debut. However, they said that he will continue training for the rest of the year with the aim of fighting in the first half of 2020.