Arjan Bhullar is wearing his turban to UFC fight & has simple message: 'Don't fear it. Embrace it'

"It’s about that education, to let people know – especially in the U.S. – what the turban is. Don’t fear it, baby....


GLENDALE, Ariz. – Arjan Bhullar made his UFC debut seven months ago and hasn’t fought inside the octagon since.

But don’t get it twisted: He’s been busy.

The UFC has aspirations of breaking into India in the near future, and the man working with the promotion’s brass to make it happen is Bhullar, the UFC’s first Indo-Canadian fighter, who practices the Sikh faith. Bhullar, of course, also has continued maintaining his skills inside the gym. And he also became a father seven weeks ago.

Too much, too soon for a man with just seven professional MMA fights to his credit?

“I know what I signed up for, and I know what I want in my life,” Bhullar told MMAjunkie on Wednesday. “So you make it happen. The UFC has 500 fighters; that’s their priority. I’m my own priority. I have to take care of myself. Every fight, every moment we can maximize, we’re going to do that. Every fight is historic. Every fight is significant.

“It might not be to the UFC brass until you’re at the title. But on the way there, it’s equally significant to the ones who mean the most to me and to me.”

Bhullar (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) continues his journey Saturday at UFC on FOX 29, where he meets Adam Wieczorek (9-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in a UFC Fight Pass-streamed preliminary-card bout prior to the FOX broadcast. This isn’t just another fight, either. This one carries extra special meaning.

For starters, it’s happening on Vaisakhi, a holy day for Sikh warriors. Bhullar also will walk to the cage wearing a turban. He was initially denied wearing it for his UFC debut on the grounds that it violated the promotion’s  athlete-outfitting policy with Reebok. The 31-year-old fighter didn’t give up, though, and was recently given the green light to wear the clothing item for his second UFC bout.

“That ask had never been brought forward before, and that’s all it really was,” Bhullar said. “That’s exactly what this opportunity is about. It’s about that education, to let people know – especially in the U.S. – what the turban is. Don’t fear it, baby. Embrace it. It’s all good. We’re a people that’s very open.”

What makes the turban so important to Bhullar and wearing it during his octagon walk is how significant it is to the Sikh belief system.

“We are connected as a people. (The turban) was to embrace your uniqueness, to stand out,” Bhullar said...

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