Heavyweight wrestler Arjan Bhullar, on a two-fight win streak in the UFC, has apparently signed with ONE Championship.
In a rather interesting turn of events, Arjan Bhullar has reportedly signed with Asia’s ONE Championship. The move comes after Bhullar, a Canadian of Indian heritage, fought out his UFC deal in Ottawa in May. Telling Cageside Press at the time that he was willing to let the market decide his worth, it appears he did just that. Bhullar’s signing with ONE was first reported by MMA Junkie.
It's a done deal! A new promotional contract and fight agreement is in place. A big thx to my CAA team for doing a fantastic job over the last several weeks with negotiations. Multiple offers on the table to consider but a clear winner in our eyes#TeamBhullar #OneBillionStrong pic.twitter.com/8RycZ0OfFU
— Arjan Singh Bhullar (@TheOneASB) July 3, 2019
ONE Championship has yet to officially announce the deal.
Bhullar (9–1) entered the UFC a perfect 6-0, and immediately made an impact on the heavyweight division, defeating Luis Henrique in his debut. A decorated wrestler who won a gold medal for Canada at the Commonwealth Games in 2010, he went 3-1 during the course of his four fight UFC run, and leaves the promotion on a two-fight winning streak. Most recently, he derailed the hyped-up Juan Adams at UFC Ottawa, earning a unanimous decision.
Going against a return to the UFC was Bhullar’s lack of finishes — all three of his wins came via unanimous decision — and the fact that India does not appear to factor into the promotion’s short term plans.
“Not necessarily for the short-term, to grow in the sub-continent, but India is on our radar, and if he can help us get there, that’s great,” UFC Senior VP of International and Content David Shaw said following UFC Ottawa, in regards to Bhullar. He won’t be helping now.
The loss of Bhullar and two-year suspension to Bharat Khandare leaves little connection between the UFC and India’s massive, untapped market. With the promotion heading to Vancouver in September, however, and Bhullar a B.C. native, he would have been a perfect fit for that card.
Instead, Arjan Bhullar will be an instant player in ONE’s extremely thin heavyweight division, where Brandon Vera reigns as champion. There has been plenty of talk surrounding ONE heading to India, and Bhullar could very well help them get there.
Bhullar joins the likes of Demetrious Johnson, Sage Northcutt, Eddie Alvarez, Yoshihiro Akiyama, and Yushin Okami as recent pick-ups of UFC fighters by the Asian MMA powerhouse. Of the group, however, only ‘Mighty Mouse’ has found continued success in his new home thus far.