Arjan “Singh” Bhullar will have the weight of a nation on his shoulders come Saturday, 15 May.
If he topples the Filipino-American – who’s been unbeatable at heavyweight in ONE Championship – “Singh” will become his nation’s first-ever Mixed Martial Arts World Champion.
“It’s always special when you can make history because history lasts forever. So, being a World Champion will be a major milestone for me and my family,” Bhullar said.
“But being the first [World Champion] from India will make it that much more special for myself and for the future wrestlers and athletes from India.
“They will know that it’s possible, and it’ll be easier for them to do knowing that it’s possible – and they’ll be more athletes coming in and we will be able to multiply our fan base.”
The World Title challenger is confident heading into this bout. In fact, he’s banking on his youth against the veteran Vera, who became the ONE Heavyweight World Champion in 2014 and has defended his belt successfully ever since.
“It seems that he is sort of on his last end, but if you take away his heavyweight title, where does he go from there? And the answer is probably: away from the fight game,” Bhullar said.
“I can’t see him wanting to climb the ranks again and chase the title down. So, we’ll see what his future holds for him after the fight.”
With that in mind, Bhullar is predicting a finish of “The Truth.” But he’s not being picky and will take the win wherever the opportunity presents itself.
“The outcome of this fight will be a stoppage with my arm raised. The stoppage will be standing up or on the ground, me pounding him out,” the Indian said.
“It will be my hands on his face and on his body and him conceding victory to my will.”
And in the end, “Singh” believes he’ll take hold of the gold and raise it in honor of his country.
“To my Indian fans, don’t forget to tune in because you’re going to get your first World Champion. When I take out Brandon Vera, it’s going to be a beautiful, beautiful moment for myself for all of us for the country,” Bhullar said.
“You’re going to have your ambassador, your champion, and then we’re going to blow this sport up all over the country and subcontinent and have many, many more coming down the line. Thank you for your support now and forever.”
Catch all the action from the previously recorded ONE: DANGAL on the ONE Super App at 6 p.m. on Saturday, 15 May.
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