Meet Arjan Singh Bhullar, the MMA Fighter Making Waves

Arjan Singh Bhullar, the Canadian fighter of Indian origin, is making waves at the Ultimate Fighting Championship.


Arjan Singh Bhullar is on cloud nine after a spectacular win over Luis Henriques, 7-0 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship 15 last week.

“It was amazing. Something you visualize when I made the transition over first of all then the weeks and months leading up to this,” an excited Bhullar said after the win, which made him climb to the league of elite fighters in UFC-215.

“Getting my hands taped, the actual fight, the walk in and walk out, everything went according to how we foreseen it. The fight went good too. I got a little bit of everything in there. The emotions got a little high when I dropped him but (then) I brought it down and got dialed back in. More than anything it special to hear that crowd out there,” added Bhullar, thanking his friends and well-wishers from California, Toronto and India who turned out at the stadium to support him.

The Journey of Arjan Singh Bhullar

A fourth-generation descendant of an Indian immigrant to Canada, Bhullar represents a family where wrestling runs in the blood. His great-grandfather migrated to Canada in 1904 and set up a business in Richmond.

Hailing from the Punjab province in India, the family had an affinity towards kushti (mud-wrestling). While Bhullar’s great-grandfather started a traditional Indian akhara (wrestling practicing ground), his father Avatar Singh took it further by excelling in both mud-wrestling and Olympic style wrestling.

Avatar Singh’s professional wrestling career reached the peak when he represented the Canadian Wrestling Team and competed for a place in the Commonwealth Games in 1998.

Arjan started wrestling practice in his family-run akhara where his father coached him on the fighting skills. He won a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi after defeating India’s Joginder Kumar 4-0 in the 120 kg freestyle category.

Bhullar then qualified for the London Olympics 2012. He was the first Canadian of Indian origin to participate in the Olympic Games that year. He failed to make his mark in Freestyle Wrestling, and switched to Mixed Martial Arts.

“With wrestling, you usually start very young. I’ve been doing it since I was in my diapers. So, it was something that was a good change and came naturally,” he said.

As MMA Fighter

Bhullar first got recognition when he carved out a victory in his debut MMA fight against Adam Santos in 2014. He then won the next five matches, and currently holds a record of 6-0 (3KO) points.

In May 2017, he became the first Indo-Canadian to sign a contract for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the most prestigious MMA brand.

“I’m at the point now where I’m getting sick of training and I just want to go out there and do my thing,” Bhullar said at a press meet. “The fact that I am feeling that means I’m right on track. That’s generally how the process goes for me and that lets me know that I’ve pushed hard enough and long enough and I derive confidence from that”.

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