‘Learn Your Lessons And Life Goes On’ – Arjan Bhullar Eager To Rebound Against Amir Aliakbari At ONE 166

Scenes from the ONE Heavyweight World Title fight between Arjan Bhullar and Brandon Vera at ONE: DANGAL on 15 May

Failure is not fatal in sports, and Arjan “Singh” Bhullar wants to show it’s possible to reach the top once again after a difficult defeat. 

The former ONE Heavyweight MMA World Champion lost his gold to Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin last June, but he’s determined to bounce back against Iranian fan favorite Amir Aliakbari at ONE 166: Qatar this Friday, March 1.

It’s a massive opportunity for Bhullar, who will face one of the division’s other top contenders as part of a historic fight card at Lusail Sports Arena.

“Singh” spoke to onefc.com about his mindset heading into battle: 

“Winning and losing happens. It’s sports. I lost on that day to Malykhin, but you’re not a loser forever, and you’re not a winner forever. Every time you go out there, you must prove yourself. 

“It was just disappointing, obviously. I’m a competitor, and I like to win. But you learn your lessons and life goes on. The best thing that can happen is to go out there and win another fight. That helps all those feelings, and that’s the plan.” 

Bhullar and Aliakbari have been on a collision course for a long time.

Aliakbari initially called out the Canadian-Indian superstar when the latter reigned as the heavyweight MMA king, and they’ll finally duke it out in a matchup that could determine the next shot at Malykhin.

The Iranian has also been red-hot with three straight knockout wins, and that’s why Bhullar thinks it’s the perfect time for them to lock horns. 

The 37-year-old Vancouver native is taking his opponent extremely seriously and is looking forward to this long-awaited showdown:

“Everyone must be respected. That’s the lesson I’ve learned many times in life, whether wrestling or MMA, so I will respect Aliakbari.   

“I knew I was going to see him at some point. That’s how the heavyweight division is. He’s had fights against similar opponents, so it’s nice. It makes sense. 

“In terms of the hype [he has], he hasn’t fought anybody like me. So, we’re going to find out [whether it is justified] on March 1. That’s what makes me excited.” 

Bhullar Wants The Best Version Of Aliakbari: ‘There Can Be No Excuses’

Arjan Bhullar and Amir Aliakbari each entered mixed martial arts with an elite wrestling pedigree, but the former isn’t convinced that his foe’s all-around game is strong enough to beat the best in MMA.

Bhullar knows the UWW Greco-Roman Wrestling World Champion has serious skills if he can get the fight to the canvas. If not, he expects to put Aliakbari in a world of trouble. 

“Singh” explained: 

“His biggest strengths are he’s been able to take guys down and he’s tough when he’s on top. He’s kept them down there with his damage. That’s how he won his fights.  

“His weakness is the way he’s lost. He can get knocked out. He can show some fatigue. He can be very emotional. Those are things we’re looking at for sure.  

“My prediction is [that] my arm will be raised. Whether that comes standing and I hit him on the chin, or whether he fatigues and that’s on the ground. We will see, but I will get my arm raised.” 

Aliakbari has never backed down from calling out the names of opponents he wants, but Bhullar isn’t interested in any bad blood.  

Above all, “Singh” knows the Tehran native is putting in work for their colossal battle, and he wants an epic war on March 1.

Bhullar added: 

“Aliakbari is training very hard because he knows war is coming. Danger is coming. I don’t need to warn him. 

“My message to Amir is to just be ready. I’ll see you at the center of that of that cage. Make sure you’ve done everything you’re supposed to to be ready because I want the best version of you and there can be no excuses after I beat you.” 

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