ARJAN SINGH BHULLAR HAS set his sights high in the ONE Championship Heavyweight division after a victory at his promotional debut.
The Indian-Canadian former wrestler improved his professional MMA record to 10-1 when he beat former Cage Warriors champion Mauro Cerilli by unanimous decision at "ONE: Century."
Speaking to TFG after his victory, Arjan said that Cerilli surprised him with his durability during the fight,
"Just his toughness was surprising. He was very resilient, took some big shots. He was strong in terms of his wrestling defence. But aside from that, we stayed the course and we did what we had to do to win and stay healthy so all is well."
Arjan had to weather an early storm of punches and pressure from Cerilli, which he overcame later in the fight. When asked if that took a change of game plan midway through the fight to accomplish, he said,
"Not so much. You know, I'm a complete fighter... whether it's standing, whether it's on the ground, we find a way to win and we did that."
His victorious debut for ONE Championship was just the opening act in the blockbuster main card of "ONE: Century Part 2", with the final three bouts of the night having world titles on the line. Arjan said he was particularly impressed by the main event which saw Heavyweight champ Brandon Vera challenge Aung La Nsang for his Light Heavyweight belt. Aung La won the contest by TKO in the first round.
Arjan said he appreciated the effort from the Light Heavyweight champion,
"The Aung La vs Brandon Vera fight was very good. Again, congratulations to Aung, great victory for him. Brandon's been dominating for the last several years and not only did he get him on the first round, he won the fight. So that was huge. My team and I were watching that fight closely."
Now that he has won his first opponent in ONE Championship and built up a 3 fight winning streak (the previous two in the UFC), who does he want next? Arjan at first was non-commital with his answer,
"We'll see. I'm gonna enjoy this victory, get back to the gym, sit down with my coaches, figure out what the next fight is."
The implication of him beating a forer ONE heavyweight title challenger and having a robust streak, is, of course, a title shot. So when asked about whether Arjan had Brandon Vera in his sights, he replied in the affirmative,
"Absolutely. I want what Vera has, I want to be a world champion. I need that belt to do what I want for India, the Indian people, what he did for the Philipino people. Whether that's next or not, that remains to be seen. It's up to my coaches. We're going to take it one step at a time."
It appears, while Arjan Singh Bhullar has already placed himself in the Heavyweight title contention picture, he wants to make sure there are no false steps in his climb to the top of the food chain at ONE Championship.