Richmond’s Arjan Bhullar has become a world champion at mixed martial arts (MMA).
The former Canadian Olympic and Commonwealth wrestler won the ONE Championship heavyweight world title in the early hours of Saturday in Singapore.
Bhullar took down reigning champion Brandon Vera in the second round when the referee had seen enough of his domination and stopped the fight.
Although born in Canada and raised in Richmond, Bhullar was representing his Indian roots in the fight and became that nation’s first MMA world champion.
After the fight, he told MMAfighting.com, “India, we got one now,” Bhullar said after the win. “Your first world champion. Let’s go.”
Bhullar dedicated the emphatic win to his coaches, who he said had “trained him well.”
He had spoken earlier this week of how confident he was heading into the One Dangal Championship Heavyweight World Title.
Bhullar, who runs his own family, high-performance wrestling club in Richmond, had his first MMA fights as an amateur in 2014, before progressing to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2017, where he was the first fighter of Indo-Canadian descent.
However, two years later, apparently unhappy with UFC’s lack of interest in India, he switched to the Singapore-based One Championship, which focuses on Asia.