James Haskell chats fears in entering the world of MMA, rugby highs & lows and the future

James Haskell talks only to Sky Sports about his surprising endeavour into the world of MMA, his entire own life at rugby as well as the future…
«MMA is a single sport, and you’re only pushing yourself to be dangerous as you’re able to be in a quarter hour. . .anything can happen.» — MMA fighter that is retired, Tim Kennedy.
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«Martial arts is like a mountain. You see the top. And you increase and you climb, and you finally get to the summit, and you realise it was a false summit, and also in front of you lies an whole new mountain range.» — MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teacher, Robert Owens.
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«I hope to God you come ready, since in the event that you don’t I will beat you in living death» — Ken Shamrock
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Professional sportspeople have attempted to alter disciplines before. It has been done. But few, if any, have succeeded.
Before return to the NBA, michael Jordan spent a year playing baseball. Dwain Chambers tried and failed to create it in soccer and Rugby League. Andrew Flintoff fought in a boxing profession which is widely seen following his cricketing achievements as little more than a publicity stunt.
You can find exceptions. Before turning into a cricket profession, sir Ian Botham has been a footballer with Scunthorpe. All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams has surfaced as a professional boxer with a current listing of 7-0. Olympic medal winning fisherman Victoria Pendleton evolved to an amateur jockey. Biking paraolympian Dame Sarah Story started as a swimmer.
However, to learn two sports is hopeless. To master two sports which take extreme physical toil on an athlete’s physique.
Yet England rugby James Haskell sits at a crowded, darkened editing package on a Thursday morning on Sky Sports News with supported his intentions to attempt just that mulling over his appearance: the 34-year-old is currently embarking on a career in MMA with Bellator.
If rugby is regarded as a sport played by guys at a degree of intensity and physicality MMA is a subject ingrained with physicality and ability but viewed with darker undertones.
Pictures of knees and elbows linking together with unprotected heads, of strikes to opponents, of fighters showing instincts to rush in and assault unconscious counterparts such as animals as opposed to escape, have noticed the game portrayed.
It brutal. For many, sufficient and barbaric to evoke revulsion. For many others, a demonstration of talent, guts and endurance.
Fighting is a different world — and it is one in which the best experience deep unease. Haskell, a rookie in this world of distinctively organised savagery, freely admits to this sense of trepidation which frequently comes .
«There is a massive element of dread in this for me personally,» he says, laced with the kind of straight-talking honesty he’s become famous for across social media. «Unless you have got a mental flaw, there are a component of fear for anyone entering this.
«There is a component of analyzing your self and steeling yourself to enter conflict and deal with this.
«It’s a contact sport and the concept is to knock another bloke outside and get the win. It’s the exact same in rugby. But that is where the comparison ends. They’re not, although A lot of individuals talk about them being sports that are identical.
«If you’re ambitious at football, it doesn’t mean you’re any good at battling and everyone has a plan — to mention a famous quote — until you get banged at the face.
«I had done a while for Bellator — a few comment and TV — and has been contacted by my agent to go to get a meeting. I thought they needed me to do more work, some reporting and punditry, but a guy called David Green who operates for Bellator stated:’We would like you to struggle.’
«I laughed as you would imagine and then said:’Right, exactly what does that mean?’ I moved away and we had a conversation about everything and talked.
«I thought to myself, you just get one chance at life. I’m always up for trying new opportunities, why do I not need to do this and provide the best shot I could to it? Wherever it takes me, it’ll be interesting.
«The most important thing is the training and performing exactly what my trainers say until I get into the cage, since you find a few of these’actors’ go and struggle and it’s like they have never taken a punch beforenever ever been anywhere close to that.
«Shootfighters health club is a different world to that. They prepare their own fighters at a proper way, they think in sparring that is tough , so by the time that occasion arises I would have been at a great place.
«I’m obsessed with people who possess the abilities to fight. People think that they’re tough but you meet with someone who knows exactly what they are doing and is tough and it’s a different kettle of fish. Watching people get dismantled is fascinating for me.
«I’m just excited by it. That’s the point of existence, although I think I will learn a lot on myself, a lot about what I can not shoot and can take.
«What is the purpose of constantly sitting at a room and thinking:’I can do this, I could do that.’ We’re going to find out for real now.»
Having supported his retirement from rugby was because of chronic ankle and toe issues restricting the frequency and intensity with which he desired to train, there’s almost a part of irony to this truth that Haskell has entered into what many think is the most taxing sport on the planet.
The former back-row admits to having been anxious prior to retirement — harbouring standard and entirely normal concerns within the unknown and what is second — but includes, in reality, proven busy.
One minute he has been DJ-ing alongside Craig David the second, at Ibiza. Some days he’s taken part others he has struggle , alongside David Haye training or performing another DJ set.
«There are really low phases [in retirement] and there were low periods when it comes to if I watched rugby or bits and pieces across the game. I would get quite melancholy,» he says.
«I would be right down, and that I could not really watch lots of England games because it reminded me of playing. I, however, couldn’t reconcile in my head that even though I wanted to be there, I couldn’t have done the job I wanted to do.
«I moved to the England camp another day and it was really pleasant and cathartic for me personally. I put a lot of stuff to individuals that are trained rest and thought:’You know what, I’m done for this’
«With regards to my worries around money and earning, bizarrely I’ve never been busier. It has been very mad and lovely, and weird. It has wrecked my mind a bit.
«What I like about agreeing to the struggle stuff is it’s put an anchor down and I’ve got some subject , while also giving me the freedom to pursue other things as I’m not peaking physically each week.
«Rugby and battling are extremely different disciplines. My requirements rugby were the capacity to conduct, quicken, change management. Footwork was vital and I could not do it with my toe and ankle. I really don’t have any of the component in combating.
«Look, I’m a 34-year-old retired baseball player, there are drawbacks in all you do, but for me personally, I’ve always kept myself in good shape and that I hope the men training me to put me at the best possible shape.
«They would not put me in a cage or risk me when I was not ready. It is a demanding game and you have to get prepared for that»
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Born since the eldest of two boys in Windsor, Maidenhead established the placing for the youth of Haskell with father Jonathan an mom and entrepreneur Susie from the corporate gift business.
Growing up alongside brother Edward, a career in MMA was never something that spanned Haskell’s mind. But once again, despite finishing as the most capped England back-row of all time behind Lawrence Dallaglio and Joe Worsley, neither was a life .
«I have always joked that I wanted to become a digger driver. I wanted to drive streets and a JCB daily. And I wanted to be in the SAS,» Haskell says chuckling.
«But I do not believe I would have got in the SAS and my mom was convinced that I would get taken. I’d been given, I do not believe if I snapped a JCB daily I’d have repaid my parents, even though it’s a very skilled job. I think they’d ambitions.
«Rugby came about by accident. Since I moved to a college which had that kind of 20, I had a trial for England U16’s. I used ton’t get in and found it devastating and upsetting. I sack it off or decided then and there that I would give it one more go.
«A family friend was a personal trainer, I started training together in something a bit like a Rocky montage and went from a skinny, skinny, unfit bloke to, in the words of different teammates at the moment, a bit of a freak in 18.
«I deferred my university entry with the goal of giving it a try for a single year, and 18 decades later I was doing this.
«The fighting is another thing where some individuals are enthusiastic, a few people have written me off, however, it’s a personal journey and that I will put the work in. I’ll flog myself to the floor to be able to perform it.»
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At a career that took him in Wasps into Stade Francis in France, the Ricoh Black Rams in Japan, Highlanders in New Zealand, back to Wasps and then fellow-Premiership club Northampton Saints, Haskell has the medals to point to some leading two years in the game.
As a kid coming with Wasps, he made the holy grail of this club game in the kind of a European Cup medal off the bench in 2007, although he celebrated a Premiership title a year after in 2008 — victories he admits today to have taken for granted at the time of just 22 and 23.
With England, Grand Slam Six Nations victory came in 2016, as did a memorable 3-0 tour success in Australia if Haskell was crowned Man of the String — performances arguably where Haskell was at his finest but also endured the foot injury which could ultimately put in motion the beginning of the ending.
«It’s hard since we went to Australia and also did some thing no-one had done before. In other matches I had performances but people are looking to be complimentary if you have a favourable win and individuals will hype that up in the event the group is in a place.
«I played a match against South Africa after where I place 33 tackles in and I believe it was the greatest defensive display of my own life, but sure journalists gave me 5/10 and said I didn’t play well.
«Australia was the best storm, where I had played very nicely, was to the ball, felt quite sure and Eddie Jones had backed me.
«A lot of coaches don’t understand the power of confidence and backing your players. What Jones did with me was not rocket science, he treated me as an adult, just like I was precious and I would have run through walls for him.»
British & Irish Lions recognition followed in 2017, but at a profession of many highs, there were lows too, together with his remedy by Wasps after 13 seasons of support, something which rankles.
«Leaving Wasps, after all the time I’d given them, was a certain low point: the club not providing me a contract offer and sacking me off basically, until I discovered an incredible new home in Northampton.
«That was an extremely emotional time period for me for certain because we believe in rugby and sport about devotion, but it’s sort of a bit of nonsense all that things.
«It is business and they thought they’d find a better deal enrolling people from abroad, didn’t want me and didn’t believe I had that value.
«I regret not having the ability to get into the World Cup. I really feel sad that I didn’t get to complete as I would like to, and I faded from this Test picture.
«I received my {l

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