The mystery and intrigue are finally over and we now know the identity of Bellator’s new heavyweight signing, as former England and British Lions rugby union star James Haskell arrives as the latest addition to Bellator’s heavyweight roster.
The 6-foot-4-inch former international rugby star weighed in at around 260 pounds during his playing career, and is expected to make his Bellator debut in 2020. A press released from the promotion’s European PR team officially confirmed his signing on Thursday.
Haskell has been a prominent name in English rugby union for many years, representing London club Wasps and Northampton Saints in the Premiership, and plying his trade overseas for French club Stade Francais, Ricoh Black Rams in Japan and New Zealand club Highlanders.
His 17-year career saw him represent England 77 times and travel to two Rugby World Cups. He was also called up to the British and Irish Lions team for their 2017 tour. In rugby terms, there isn’t much he hasn’t done. But now he’s getting out of his comfort zone and into MMA.
Haskell is no stranger to the sport, however. He has featured in the original iteration of BT Sport’s UFC magazine show, Beyond The Octagon, where he shot a series of features with a host of big names.
The 34-year-old has been training at the London Shootfighters gym, home to Bellator welterweight star Michael “Venom” Page, and will now spend the rest of the year sharpening his skills ahead of his expected Bellator debut “in the first half of 2020.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
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