ARJAN SINGH BHULLAR, THE current Heavyweight World Champion at ONE Championship, has revealed that he's booked for his return to the cage.
Fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of the Indian-origin former wrestler, who earned the coveted gold belt last year by knocking out the veteran Brandon Vera in his first title fight at the Martial Arts promotion.
Arjan, who is 11-1 in pro MMA, debuted in ONE Championship back in October 2019, beating former title challenger Mauro Cerilli. He was to fight for the title next year but the bout was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When he finally returned to the cage in April 2021, he earned a commanding victory and made history becoming the first ever Indian-origin athlete to become a champion at a major global MMA organisation.
While anticipation was building over his return to the cage, the pandemic played spoilsport again. On top of it, his contract with ONE Championship was taking time to get done; which created headlines across the MMA world.
The stakes got higher for Arjan when in February 2022, ONE Championship scheduled an Interim Heavyweight Championship bout; which was won by rising prospect Anatoly Malykhin, who has won all of his 10 professional fights with a finish (7 KOs/TKOs, 3 Submissions).
After winning the belt, Anatoly called out Arjan, insultingly referring to him as "chicken." In response, Arjan told TFG he was ready to answer his newest challenger in the cage,
"I can't wait to shut him up and get in there and compete with him. I don't know why he thinks he's a tough guy... he's never been in there with someone like me. That's a fact... that is the next fight."
Finally, in late April 2022, Arjan let his fans know in a social media post that he had finally resolved the contract situation.
And now, responding to a tweet, he has revealed that he is already booked for his next outing in the cage.
Although he did not reveal who the opponent is, the likely scenario is that Arjan will defend his Undisputed Heavyweight Championship against Anatoly, the Interim Champion.
While it's true that Anatoly has never faced a fighter with an accomplished wrestling background like Arjan, the same is not true for the latter. Arjan has, in the past, faced dangerous knockout artists similar to Anatoly. Marcelo Golm and Juan Adams, both of whom Arjan beat in the UFC, came in with a similar reputation but had their game neutralized by Arjan.
However, given Anatoly's precision with striking and the ability to score one-punch knockouts, a match-up between them promises to be one of the most intriguing Heavyweight fights in ONE Championship's history.