UFC Ottawa: Arjan Bhullar On Free Agency, WWE Aspirations, and UFC in India

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Arjan Bhullar fought out his UFC contract on Saturday at UFC Ottawa, picking up his third win in four outings. Following the fight, he spoke to reporters about what he’s looking for to re-sign, trying his hand in the WWE, and getting the UFC to India.

Ottawa, ON — Canada’s Arjan Bhullar has his second straight win coming out of UFC Ottawa. At the Fight Night event at the Canadian Tire Centre Saturday, Bhullar, who represented Canada at the Commonwealth Games as a wrestler, proved he had the superior wrestling chops over Juan ‘The Kraken’ Adams.

That was a key point of contention in the build-up to the fight. Adams had, in short, besmirched Bhullar’s wrestling ability. Post fight, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press, Bhullar made a familiar comment: there’s levels to this.

“I wanted to make a bigger point of laying it on him with the stand-up, then taking him down when I wanted to,” he said back stage at the Canadian Tire Centre. “He talked a lot of garbage; every time I shot, I took him down. That proves there are levels to this game.”

However the talk beforehand, said Bhullar, was motivating. “I’ve been competing a long time, man. So you always look at it as motivation. And that was beautiful for that. I actually felt with all that talk, he might be tougher to take down. But it was nice and easy and efficient.”

With the win in the bag, Bhullar has fought out his UFC contract. On whether he’s expecting to sign a new deal with the UFC, the Canadian said that “first we get the numbers right, and that’s the expectation. I intend on getting the value of what I’m worth, and letting my management get to work on that. Aside from that, I enjoy being in the UFC, definitely. But I want to get paid what I’m valued.”

Asked later whether that meant testing free agency, Bhullar reiterated that he’ll let his management handle it, but “I want to get what I’m worth. We’ll let the market decide what I’m worth.”

Beyond that, “I want to get busy. Two fights a year is not enough,” he said. At 32, in “an old weight class,” Bhullar wants to get right back to work. That’s why he called out the name he did post-fight: Andrei Arlovski.

Let the record show, it was not a popular callout. Even from a Canadian in Canada.

Explaining the callout, Bhullar noted that “this is an old man’s division. It’s time for the young guns to come out and take care of these old [men].”

“Just in wrestling, the same approach. These guys don’t leave unless you show them the door,” he continued. “You have to give them a reason to leave. And that’s why I intend on neutering the Pitbull. Sending him into retirement. I’ve been watching that guy for a long time, a lot of respect for what he’s done in the sport. But there comes a time where the next generation has to step up, and I want to lead the way for the next crop of fighters.”

If he does end up staying with the UFC, he might lead that next crop of fighters into the Indian market. That’s the goal, at least. “It’s a natural fit,” Bhullar said. “You don’t have to prop anybody up or make up a story. I’ve got a natural, natural story out there. Deep roots, from wrestling.”

“That country has Olympic wrestlers and Olympic boxers that medal every Olympics. What else do you need to turn into MMA?” And, as Arjan Bhullar also pointed out, “WWE’s biggest market in the world is India.”

“The only competition is cricket,” he added, “which people are sick of. And they love combat sport. They love that warrior heritage. That’s what I am.”

Speaking of the WWE, Bhullar, who has posted tributes to Kurt Angle and Jinder Mahal online, is a big fan of pro wrestling, and hinted something on that front could be in the works. “We’ve got some special things cooking up,” he let slip. “My management represents WWE. We’re going to have some talks with Triple H, and these guys, and see kind of what the future holds. I’ve been a pro wrestling fan for a long time.”

First, however, comes his MMA career. “The schedules have to line up. But all the cards are on the table now. A lot of things are on hold, because nothing’s more important than winning.”

Watch the full UFC Ottawa post-fight press scrum with Arjan Bhullar above!

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