“When you are headed into battle and need the job done right, you call a Sikh.”
Sikh Canadian MMA (mixed martial-arts) fighter and former Olympic wrestler Arjan Singh Bhullar yesterday announced that he has officially signed for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The news was celebrated by Sikhs, Punjabis and Asians all over the world, with many welcoming the news of having a representative in the biggest MMA organisation in the world. Throughout the sporting world – outside of golf and cricket – there have not been any Sikh representatives in the highest level of the world’s more popular professional sports. With physical training and competition heavily advocated within Sikh teachings, many from within the community have been waiting and working for a breakthrough Sikh athlete to represent this in modern form.
Bhullar wrote on his instagram of the signing, “When you are headed into battle and need the job done right, you call a Sikh….and they called the right one. I will proudly represent the Maple Leaf and be the ambassador for over 1.7 billion South Asians. I fully appreciate the significance of this moment, and understand the seriousness of the task at hand. We will prepare accordingly.”
Fans of the UFC – which is also one of the most recognised brands in sport – were also delighted to hear of the addition, with Bhullar set to provide new blood in the organisation’s heavyweight division. Having turned to professional MMA in 2014, Bhullar comes into the UFC with a record of 6-0. The undefeated heavyweight also has a wrestling pedigree which includes a Commonwealth Games Gold Medal, Pan-American Games Bronze Medal and competing in the 2012 Olympics, as well as many Canadian national titles, which is why many see 31 year old Bhullar as an exciting prospect with real title contention potential in the UFC. Bhullar has also spent time training with current UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
Bhullar, whose father was also a decorated wrestler, has long been active in Vancouver community projects to tackle bullying and gang crime, alongside his sporting career. He also works as a wrestling coach for students at the University of Fraser Valley.
The Sikh community can now boast several great prospects and even champions – both male and female – in the world of combat sport. To keep up to date with news on Sikh athletes from various sports, you can follow Official Sikh Athletes on facebook.