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Former Northampton Saints rugby player James Haskell to make MMA debut

James Haskell will make his MMA debut next year. Credit: Bellator Europe/Twitter

Former Northampton Saints rugby player James Haskell has signed a deal with mixed martial arts organisation Bellator MMA.

The 34-year-old retired from rugby earlier this year and has now decided to try his luck in a different sport.

He will fight in the heavyweight division and is expected to make his professional MMA debut next year.

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Haskell's last couple of years as a rugby player at Northampton were plagued by ankle and toe injuries which were the biggest factor in his decision to call time on his career.

The former flanker has spoken in the past about his admiration for MMA and has trained with British MMA fighter Michael 'Venom' Page, as well as working as a pundit.

During his time as a rugby player, Haskell won 77 caps for England during a 17-year career as a professional.

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