“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.”
James Haskell is set to make his much-anticipated Mixed Martial Arts debut on the 16th of May with the Bellator fighting promotion.
Our very own super star and founder of Impact Sports CBD powered by CiiTECH, James Haskell pushes beyond the limits. James is a former English rugby player who enjoyed a hugely successful career as a flanker both at home playing for the wasps and Northampton and internationally representing England. He was chosen to be in the starting line-up for the 2007 six-nations final against wales, and at six foot four and 260lbs he believes he has the athleticism and the skills needed to climb the ranks of the heavyweight division.
Haskell who recently retired from the highest level of Rugby is pursuing a new goal – to compete in mixed martial arts. A profession in which the dangers will be very familiar – brain injury, torn ligaments and missing teeth. James certainly poses a viable threat to many fighters as he plans on pairing his explosive tackles learned through thousands of hours on the rugby pitch with Jiu-Jitsu he has been working on with his coaches and training partners at London shootboxing in Wembley. James signed with Bellator in August of 2019 one of the largest promotions in the sport, second only to the UFC. However, it possesses one of the fastest growing heavy-weight roster in the sport and the inclusion of Haskell adds another layer of intrigue and excitement to a division composed currently of mainly strikers. A powerful wrestler like Haskell may have the recipe for success if he is as focused and disciplined as he says he is.
Bellator as an organisation is no stranger to signing in athletes from other backgrounds for example: Jack Hager, a former WWE superstar turned MMA fighter with a promising last outing and a lot of hype and buzz surrounding him. Haskell will be no different with a lot of questions being posed by pundits and fans around the world. Most crucially is his late career change at 35 going to create the unrefined panic brawl that is far too common for athletes joining the sport later in their career? And is his striking at a level where he can take stay standing if necessary? it remain to be seen until May 16th.
“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.”
Regardless of whether you think Haskell will be successful or not in his new venture. Two things are for certain: it’s a courageous career move, and it will be an exciting spectacle for fans of rugby and fighting.
Everyone at CiiTECH and IMPACT Sports CBD wishes him good luck!