UFC has unveiled it’s new Sikh fighter in the roster and it’s Arjan Bhullar. Arjan made a successful debut at UFC 215 on September 9, 2017, against Luis Henrique. He won the fight via unanimous decision. However, some issues were raised regarding wearing a Turban in the ring.
Bhullar has represented Canada internationally as a freestyle wrestler at several world championships, at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and at the 2012 Olympic Games. He is from Richmond, British Columbia. Bhullar is of Indian Sikh descent.
In May 2017, it was announced that Bhullar had signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, becoming the first fighter of Indo-Canadian descent to sign with the company.
However, Bhullar was not allowed to wear his turban into the cage. From the what Arjan said it sounds like if he had cleared things sooner with official UFC apparel supplier Reebok, it wouldn’t have been an issue. Bhullar is a Sukh yo thr core and the turban is their customary headwear.
“I’ve seen before, Khabib [Nurmagomedov] walked out with his [headpiece] so I know they’re not that stringent on this kind of stuff, so that’s why I didn’t come out sooner because I didn’t think it was going to be an issue,” Bhullar said. “This isn’t some other company you’re representing. This is you, you’re representing yourself. So there was a Rebook issue there, and there was some ignorance. The feedback was, ‘you can’t wear it on your head, can you wear it somewhere else?’ You don’t wear a turban somewhere else. I don’t think you know what this is.”
Bhullar has said that the issue has been resolved and he expects to wear the turban in his fights to come. This is his way of honoring his heritage and where he comes from.
“I thought, I have to make something of myself,” Bhullar said. “So that sacrifice when my grandfather came over, my parents came over, it wasn’t for nothing. I remember who I am, and the next generation, they’ll know that one of our own did something. So that was my motivation.”