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 sudden glimpse into the world of MMA, his own life at rugby and the long run…
“MMA is a single game, and you’re just pushing yourself to become dangerous as you’re able to be in 15 minutes. . .anything can happen.” – MMA fighter that is retired, Tim Kennedy.
“Martial arts is like a hill. You find the top. And you increase and you grow, and you eventually reach the peak, and you realise it was a false summit, also before you lies an entire fresh mountain range.” – MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teacher, Robert Owens.
“I hope to God you come prepared, since in the event that you don’t I’m going to beat you into a living death” – Ken Shamrock
Professional sportspeople have attempted to alter areas. It has been completed. But few, if any, have really succeeded.
Before return to the NBA, michael Jordan spent. Dwain Chambers tried and failed to create it following his corrupt GB sports career in American soccer and Rugby League. Andrew Flintoff fought in a boxing profession that’s broadly seen today following his cricketing achievements.
You’ll find exceptions. Before committing to a cricket career sir Ian Botham has been a footballer with Scunthorpe. All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams has acted as a professional fighter. Olympic medal winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton evolved to an amateur jockey. Biking paraolympian Dame Sarah Story began as an individual swimmer.
But to master two sports is near-on hopeless. To learn toil within an athlete’s physique.
However England rugby James Haskell sits in a darkened editing suite on a Thursday morning on Sky Sports News with supported his intentions to try just that, mulling over his look: that the 34-year-old is embarking with Bellator.
If rugby is considered a game played with challenging men at a degree of intensity and physicality, afterward MMA is a discipline ingrained with physicality and skill but seen with darker undertones.
Images of strikes to shattered and prone opponents, of elbows and knees linking with heads, of fighters showing instincts to rush in and attack counterparts like animals instead of escape, have noticed the sport frequently portrayed negatively.
It brutal. For some, enough and barbaric to elicit revulsion. For many others, a demonstration of ability, courage and endurance.
Fighting is not the same world – and it is one in. Haskell, a novice in this world of savagery that is uniquely organised admits to the feeling of trepidation which comes over him.
“There is a massive element of fear in this for me,” he says, laced with the sort of straight-talking honesty he has become famous for over social networking. “Unless you’ve got a psychological flaw, there are a component of fear of anybody entering this.
“There’s an element of analyzing your self and also steeling yourself to enter battle and cope with this.
“it is a contact sport and the idea is to knock another bloke out and get the win. It’s the same in rugby. But that’s where the comparison ends. A lot of people talk about them being sports that are identical, but they are not.
“If you’re demanding at rugby, it does not mean that you’re any good at battling and everyone has a plan – to – mention a famous quote – until you get banged from the face.
“I’d done a while for Bellator – some commentary and TV – and I – has been contacted through my representative to go for a meeting. I thought they wanted me to perform a few coverage more work and punditry, however, a guy named David Green who works for Bellator stated:’No, we would like you to struggle.’
“I laughed nervously as you’d imagine and then said:’Right, what does that mean?’ I moved away and we had a talk about everything and spoke to my partner, who thought I was an idiot.
“I thought to myself, you only get one chance in your life. I am always up for trying new chances would I not wish to do so and give it the greatest shot I can? Wherever it takes mepersonally, it will be interesting.
“The most important thing is your training and doing what my coaches say until I get into the cage, as you find a number of these’actors’ go and battle and it is like they’ve never accepted a punch before, never been anywhere close to that.
“Shootfighters health club is a different world to that. Their own fighters are prepared by them in a manner that is suitable, they believe in sparring that first occasion arises I’d have been at a fantastic location.
“I’m obsessed with those who possess the skills to fight. Sometimes people think that they’re tough but you meet someone who is hard and knows what they’re doing and it is a different kettle of fish. Watching people get dismantled is fascinating for me.
“I’m just excited by it. I believe I’m going to learn a lot about myself, a lot about what I can not take and can take, but that is the whole point of life.
“What is the purpose of constantly sitting at a chamber and thinking:’I could do so, I could do that.’ We are likely to figure out for real now.”
Having supported his retirement from rugby was due to chronic ankle and toe issues restricting the intensity and frequency with which he wished to train, there is almost an element of irony to the fact Haskell has entered into what many believe is the most taxing sport on earth.
The admits to being anxious prior to retirement – harbouring standard and totally normal concerns within the unknown and what is next – but includes, in actuality.
One minute he has been DJ-ing alongside Craig David the next, at Ibiza. Some days he’s taken part in a golf occasion along with David Hayeothers he is fight doing or training yet another DJ set.
“You will find low intervals [in retirement] and there have been low periods when it comes to if I watched rugby or bits and pieces across the sport. I’d get very melancholy,” he says.
“I would be down, and I couldn’t really watch lots of England games because it reminded me of enjoying . I, however, could not reconcile that although I wanted to be there, I still could not have completed.
“I moved to the England camp the other day and it was really nice and cathartic for me personally. I put a great deal of things to rest, trained people and thought:’You know what, I’m done with this.’
“In terms of my worries about earning and money, bizarrely I have never been busier. It has been really weird and lovely, and quite crazy. It’s wrecked my mind a little.
“What I like about consenting to the fight stuff is the fact that it’s put an anchor down and I have got some subject again, while also giving me the liberty to pursue different things as I am not peaking physically every week.
“Rugby and combating are different areas. My requirements in rugby were the capability to conduct, quicken, change direction. Footwork was crucial and that I could not do it with my ankle and toe. I don’t have some of the component in fighting.
“Look, I am a 34-year-old retired baseball player, there are pitfalls in everything you do, but for me personally, I have always kept myself in great form and that I trust the guys training me to put me in the best possible shape.
“They would not set me in a cage risk me when I was not ready. It is a demanding sport and you have to be prepared for that”
Produced as the oldest of two boys in Windsor, Maidenhead proved the placing for the childhood of Haskell with daddy Jonathan a entrepreneur and mom Susie in the gift enterprise.
Growing up alongside brother Edward, a profession in MMA was never something which spanned the mind of Haskell. But once again, despite finishing as the third England back-row of all time behind Joe Worsley and Lawrence Dallaglio, neither has been a life in rugby.
“I’ve always joked that I wished to become a digger driver. I wished to drive a JCB all day and tarmac roads. And I wanted to maintain the SAS,” Haskell says chuckling.
“But I really don’t think I would have got in the SAS and also my mom was convinced that I would get taken. I’d been given, I do not think when I snapped a JCB daily I’d have necessarily repaid my parents, though it’s a very skilled job. I believe they’d aspirations that are bigger.
“Rugby caused by accident. I had a trial for England U16’s since I moved. I found it upsetting and catastrophic and used ton’t get in. I sack it off or decided there and then that I would give it one more move.
“A family friend was a personal trainer, I started training together in something somewhat like a Rocky montage and moved in a skinny, scrawny, patriotic bloke to, in the words of different teammates at the moment, a bit of a freak at 18.
“I deferred my university entrance with the intention of giving it a go for one year, and 18 decades later I was doing this.
“The fighting is just another thing where a few people are excited, some individuals have written me off, but it is a personal journey and that I will place the work in. I’ll flog myself to the floor to be in a position to do it.”
In a career that took him out of Wasps to Stade Francis at France, the Ricoh Black Rams at Japan, Highlanders in New Zealandback to Wasps after which fellow-Premiership club Northampton Saints, Haskell gets the awards to point to a leading two decades in the sport.
As a youngster coming through with Wasps, he made the holy grail of this club game in the kind of a European Cup trophy off the bench in 2007, while he observed that a Premiership title a year after in 2008 – successes he admits now to have taken for granted at the age of just 22 and 23.
With England, Grand Slam Six Nations success came in 2016, as did a unforgettable 3-0 tour victory in Australia once Haskell was crowned Man of the Series – performances possibly where Haskell was at his best but also endured the foot injury which could finally put in motion the beginning of the end.
“It’s difficult since we moved to Australia and also did some thing nobody had completed before. In other matches I had comparable performances but if you have a win, most individuals are looking to be complimentary and individuals will hype up that, if the team is at a good place.
“I played with a match against South Africa once where I put 33 tackles in and I think it was the best defensive screen of my entire life, but sure journalists gave me 5/10 and I didn’t play well.
“Australia was the best storm, where I had played very nicely, was around the ball, felt very confident and Eddie Jones had backed me.
“A lot of coaches do not know the power of confidence and financing your players. What Jones did was not rocket science, he treated me like a grownup, just like I was valuable and I would have run through walls .”
British & Irish Lions recognition adopted in 2017, however in a career of several highs, there were lows too, after 13 seasons of service, something which rankles together with his treatment by Wasps.
“Leaving Wasps, after all the time I had given themwas a definite low point: the club not giving me a contract offer and sacking me off essentially, until I discovered an wonderful new house in Northampton.
“This was a very emotional time period for me for sure because we think in rugby and sport about devotion, but it is kind of a bit of crap all that stuff.
“It is business and they thought they’d get a better deal signing people from abroad, did not want me didn’t feel that I had that value.
“I regret not being able to get to the World Cup. I really feel sad that because I’d like to, I didn’t get to finish, and I faded from this Evaluation picture.
“I received my {l

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