‘I’m Excited Again’ – Arjan Bhullar Thrilled To Fight At ONE 166: Qatar, Says It’ll Feel Like ‘A Home Event’

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Former heavyweight MMA kingpin Arjan “Singh” Bhullar is proud to be one of the superstars competing at ONE Championship’s historic on-ground debut in Qatar.

On Friday, March 1, the Indian powerhouse will collide with his heated rival, Iranian behemoth Amir Aliakbari, in a pivotal contest at ONE 166: Qatar.

This bout at the state-of-the-art Lusail Sports Arena marks Bhullar’s first match back since losing the ONE Heavyweight MMA World Title in June 2023, and he views this as the perfect setting for his return to action.

Bhullar is pumped to see the world’s largest martial arts organization making its return to the Middle East, well aware that the region is quickly becoming a hotbed for professional sports.

Given the explosion of the sports industry in nearby Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the 2022 FIFA World Cup being held in Qatar, the 37-year-old believes ONE’s debut event in the country will be the beginning of something huge.

He said:

“Qatar can be massive. We have seen what the Saudis have done with the Saudi season and having lots of sports there. Obviously, Abu Dhabi as well, especially with MMA, Formula One, and all that. I think Qatar is the next logical step.

“I think they’re poised after the [FIFA] World Cup to really launch and take off, and I love that ONE has hooked up with them. I hope there’s many more events and many opportunities for athletes to fight on their cards.” 

On a personal level, Bhullar is excited to be one of the promotion’s first athletes to fight in Qatar and spend time exploring the Middle Eastern country.

After competing around the globe at the highest levels of both MMA and amateur wrestling, the Indian star recognizes the unique opportunity that’s in front of him, and he plans to make the most of it.

The former ONE Heavyweight MMA World Champion added:

“I’m very, very excited. Qatar’s an amazing place. Of course, they have [organized] the FIFA World Cup, and they’ve got a huge Indian community there and following, so it makes a lot of sense to come back on this card.

“I’m excited again. Life’s a journey. It’s a life experience to go out there and be in Qatar. I don’t know if I will ever go back again in my life, so I’m going to enjoy that. But everything is much better when you win. I’m so excited to be there, meet the people out there and the fans, and I’m also excited to win.”

Arjan Bhullar Motivated By Qatar’s ‘Huge Community’ Of Indian Fans

Arjan Bhullar expects to be welcomed like a hometown hero when he battles Amir Aliakbari at ONE 166: Qatar.

Forever proud of his heritage, “Singh” knows that Indians make up nearly a quarter of Qatar’s population, and he is looking forward to seeing his legions of fans coming out to support him.

Bhullar said:

“There’s a huge community and population of Indians in Qatar. I’m very, very excited to meet with them. It’s going to be a huge motivation. It’s going to feel like a home arena, a home event.”

The former heavyweight MMA king also knows that the hard-hitting Aliakbari – a Greco-Roman Wrestling World Champion who has finished his last three opponents in the ring – will bring plenty of Iranian fans with him to Qatar.

But Bhullar claims that his rival’s enormous fan base won’t distract him, as he’ll be buoyed by the throngs of Indian supporters and motivated to make them proud.

“Singh” added:

“We’ve got the Iranian coming in, and he thinks he’s going to do what he’s going to do. But with the support of my people, I will feel that energy, and I hope they come to enjoy the event and enjoy the ONE show because I do hope we go back there again in the coming year. And I hope to make them proud and thank them for all the support.”

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