James Haskell will make his highly anticipated mixed martial arts debut at Bellator London on Saturday, May 16.

The former England international and British and Irish Lion will take to the canvas at Wembley’s SSE Arena against an opponent that will be revealed at a later date.

The main event will be the rebooked bantamweight bout between Irish MMA hero James ‘The Strabanimal’ Gallagher and Cal ‘Pacino’ Ellenor which was due to take place in Dublin this weekend. 

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Haskell, 34, announced his decision to pursue a career in MMA following his retirement from rugby, and Bellator unveiled Haskell as their new heavyweight signing in August of last year.

With 77 England caps, Haskell represented his country in two World Cups, getting to the 2007 final, and played a key role in the side that won the Six Nations titles in 2016 and 2017, including their first Grand Slam in 13 years.

In a professional career that spanded 17 years, Haskell turned out for Wasps, Stade Francais, Ricoh Black Rams, the Highlanders and Northampton Saints. 

Haskell has been preparing for his professional debut at London Shootfighters, where he has trained for many years, alongside the likes of British MMA star Michael “Venom” Page.

Tickets to Bellator London are available early through an exclusive Bellator Nation pre-sale on Thursday, Feb. 27. Tickets will go on sale to the general public Friday, Feb. 28 and can be purchased online at ssearena.co.uk,  www.axs.com/uk or ticketmaster.co.uk.