Mixed Martial Arts

ONE Championship’s Arjan Bhullar is India’s first MMA world champion, dethrones Brandon Vera

Arjan Singh Bhullar, 35, has made history as the first ever mixed martial arts world champion of Indian descent. He is now the reigning champion of the heavyweight MMA division of ONE Championship, a martial arts organization based in Singapore.

On May 15, 2021, ONE Championship held “ONE: Dangal” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore featuring four MMA fights and one Muay Thai contest. In the main event of the evening, Bhullar challenged then reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera, 43, of the Philippines.

Justin Brown served as the referee. He put a stop to the heavyweight title bout after 4 minutes and 27 seconds in the second round.

In the end, Brown raised the hand of Bhullar. The Indian-Canadian challenger dethroned the Filipino-American defending champion via technical knockout.

Fighting out of India by way of Canada, Bhullar now holds a professional MMA record of 11 wins and 1 loss. “ONE: Dangal” marked his second outing in ONE Championship.

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Born to Indian parents in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, Bhullar started wrestling when he was a little boy. His father moved from India to Canada at a young age and wrestled in high school.

Bhullar was named the Wrestler of the Year of Canada in 2009 and he represented the country at the London Summer Olympics in 2012. As an MMA fighter, he has been competing professionally since 2014.

From 2017 to 2019, Bhullar competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He had 3 wins and 1 loss in the American MMA promotion.

After leaving the UFC, Bhullar made his ONE Championship debut at “ONE: Century – Part 2” on October 13, 2019 in Japan. He defeated Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli, 38, of Italy via unanimous decision.

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