Arjan Bhullar kickstarts road to redemption at ONE 166: Qatar

By BJPENN.COM Staff - February 12, 2024

Arjan Bhullar finds himself at a crucial juncture with one singular goal in mind — to wash away the bitter taste of defeat with a resounding victory.

Amir Aliakbari and Arjan Bhullar

He will have the opportunity to do so at ONE 166: Qatar. He locks horns with Amir Aliakbari in a heavyweight MMA bout slated to happen at Lusail Sports Arena on March 1.

His path to redemption comes on the heels of a heartbreaking setback. He relinquished the ONE Heavyweight MMA World Title to Anatoly Malykhin in June 2023.

The defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for the Indian superstar. However, he knows that true champions bounce back from adversity.

“I’m a competitor [and] I like to win. But you learn your lessons and life goes on,” Bhullar said.

“The best thing that can happen is go out there, win another fight. That helps all those feelings, and that’s the plan.”

Bhullar truly understands the significance of his upcoming assignment. It presents an opportunity to put the loss to Malykhin behind him.

However, standing in his way is Aliakbari. He is a decorated Iranian wrestler who’s currently riding high on a three-fight winning streak in the world’s largest martial arts organization.

Aliakbari has been vocal about wanting to face Bhullar. Now “Singh” is delighted to accede to his fellow heavyweight’s request.

“Yeah, he has been vocal. I think he’s known for that,” Bhullar said. “I knew I was going to see him at some point. [That’s how] the heavyweight division is. As long as we both keep winning, we are going to see each other.”

Bhullar acknowledges the challenge and sees the matchup as a logical step in his journey back to the top.

“He’s had fights against similar opponents, so it’s nice. It makes sense. It makes sense for sure,” the former champion said.

Arjan Bhullar foresees decisive win over Amir Aliakbari

Amir Aliakbari’s momentum might be on an upswing. However, Arjan Bhullar is determined to put a stop to it in Qatar.

The American Kickboxing Academy representative asserts that there are distinct levels to his game compared to his counterpart this coming March.

“We’re going to find out that night. He hasn’t fought anybody like me, and he hasn’t fought me, so we’re going to find out March 1. That’s what makes me excited,” Bhullar said.

Whether the fight transpires on the feet or on the ground, Bhullar expresses confidence in his capacity to finish Aliakbari.

“My prediction is [that] my arm will be raised, and I will be a winner whether that’s standing and I hit him on the chin, or whether he fatigues and that’s on the ground,” the Indian heavy-hitter said.

“We will see [about that], but I will get my arm raised.”


Arjan Bhullar ONE Championship