Over the course of his career as an amateur and professional, he has managed to earn several accolades. Earlier this year, it was announced that Arjan Singh Bhullar was leaving UFC to join ONE Championship.
He appeared in ONE FC, and there he managed to get a rather big win over Mauro Cerrili, although their initial bout was pushed back due to Mauro developing a staph infection.
I was able to catch up with him as he talked about representing India, leaving UFC, fighting for ONE Championship, his relationship with Jinder Mahal, his thoughts about WWE and AEW and a lot more.
On representing India and fans from all over the globe
Q. You have spent a large portion of your career, representing people coming from a variety of backgrounds. What does your ability to represent them in the Octagon mean to you?
ASB: I’m just trying to represent who I am, my story and what I’m about. If that allows me to represent people from different backgrounds and allows them to relate to me, that’s fantastic. I haven’t done anything except tell my story, what has made me successful, who has been there for me along the journey, and be as real as possible. To be able to represent that has been huge for me. It’s a way for me to thank them for helping me to get to where I’m at. It’s a way for me to potentially help others who come from the same background and have the same people in their life, to say, ‘Hey, I connect with that guy. I also come from the same culture, I also come from the same country, I also have similar people in my life. I also can do what he does and have the same success that he has.’
Q. There are still very few major Indian MMA fighters on the world stage. It could be said you are among the most well-known among them. What message would you have to young Indian fighters trying to make their way here?
ASB: Yes, you know. When I first got signed with the UFC, and now with ONE Championship I took that responsibility on my shoulder, that hey I’m the first one to make it at this level, but I’m going to make sure the ones that come after me have it easier. I want to be able to make sure that I’m able to touch them and inspire them, because the country is ready for MMA. We have athletes wrestlers, boxers, very good high-level, world class that can make it in this sport and have a platform for the community, for the country, for the people to tell their stories.
So you know, if I can do that, I would be hugely fulfilled. Join your local boxing or kickboxing gym, and get your basics down. When you can, get out of India to Singapore Evolve MMA, maybe Thailand AKA. Thailand is down there, and there’s quite a few good gyms as well. Broaden your horizons. Like you said it’s very fertile in our country. Once the first generation does that, there will be high level training in the country, gyms in our country, and it will be easier for the next generation.
Continue reading as Arjan Singh Bhullar talks about his debut in ONE FC, leaving the UFC, WWE, AEW, Jinder Mahal, and more