UFC heavyweight Arjan Bhullar recently spoke with Top Turtle MMA following the birth of his first child, and during the interview he got the chance to speak about his lifelong passion for professional wrestling.
Bhullar is a world-class wrestler taking a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and representing Canada during the 2012 London Olympics. Since joining the UFC he has worked closely with the company to expand their Indian fanbase, and is currently organizing festivities and events surrounding his next fight on April 14th, which falls on the Indian and Sikh holiday Vaisakhi.
WWE fans may recall that Jinder Mahal was supposed to accompany Bhullar to the octagon at UFC 215 where he extended his record to 7-0, but the self-proclaimed “Modern Day Maharaja” (who was WWE Champion at the time) was stranded in Florida during the hurricanes that plagued the southeast last September. The fighter noted that he’s actually spent some time working with WWE developmental before making the decision to pursue MMA full-time.
“I’ve always been a fan of pro wrestling growing up. I actually had the opportunity to go down to the development system in Florida after the Olympics, and before I committed to this MMA journey that I’m on. Jinder said it best when I came out; you have to have passion for that, to be able to do it day in and day out. They have such a grueling schedule. So you know, that part is challenging.”
Despite the ridiculous schedule, Bhullar said he still has a passion for pro wrestling and would love to dip his toe in the waters at some point.
“I like competition right now. I have passion for the entertainment aspect for sure, but down the road anything could happen. I would love to be able to dip into [WWE], because I’ve been a fan for a long time. Especially when my competitive bug has come and gone, I think that would be a logical step and we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Don’t expect the transition from MMA to WWE to happen anytime soon though. At just 31-years-old there’s a chance a world class grappler could become a key player in UFC’s heavyweight division, which is largely dominated by strikers with very little mat control. There’s a reason Francis Ngannou, Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem are the three top rated heavyweights in the world – they don’t have to completely rely on their striking game.