Home MMA NewsLatest News Arjan Bhullar Expresses Immense Satisfaction with New Chapter in ONE Championship Following Lengthy Contract Discussions

Arjan Bhullar Expresses Immense Satisfaction with New Chapter in ONE Championship Following Lengthy Contract Discussions

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Arjan Bhullar's contract renegotiation

There’s no denying, Arjan Bhullar had no desire to stay idle for the previous two years.

Upon joining ONE Championship as a free agent after four bouts in UFC, Bhullar quickly started making strides, securing a victory in his first match and then defeating Brandon Vera to claim the heavyweight champion title. With the intention of extending into India, where Bhullar understood his substantial value to the company, the 37-year-old combatant foresaw a bright future. However, he instead faced an impasse.

After his triumph in the title bout, Bhullar embarked on contract renegotiation with ONE, aiming for a superior deal. The extended process lasted over a year, which consequently halted Bhullar’s swift rise and left him benched, missing out on his career’s prime time.

“Securing the title, building momentum, being excited – these were all great, but there’s the business side as well,” Bhullar revealed to MMA Hook. “We endeavored to renegotiate, aiming for championship-level pay and a new deal, which took considerably longer than expected. It took us a year to finalize, which was immensely frustrating.

“My team did the heavy lifting in the negotiation and I continued my training. The process kept extending but eventually, we reached an agreement.”

Although it was disheartening to stay inactive for a year during the contract negotiations with ONE Championship, Bhullar now concedes that the ordeal was ultimately worthwhile.

He not only secured a more profitable contract but also improved his relationship with ONE CEO, Chatri Sityodtong, after an initial period of disagreement over his deal.

“Following the negotiation, Chatri and I now have a direct line of communication,” Bhullar explained. “Our relationship has improved significantly. I secured a new deal and I am eager to return.”

In a field where unanimous agreement among athletes is rare, the subject of pay in MMA is widely accepted as undervaluing fighters. Bhullar was aware of this after his title fight victory against Vera, which motivated him to capitalize on his opportunity when he was at the pinnacle of his career.

Although he understands the uphill battle fighters face when attempting to negotiate better terms against a powerful promoter, Bhullar knew he couldn’t forgive himself if he didn’t seize the opportunity to strike a better deal with ONE for his career and his family’s wellbeing.

Both parties had to make concessions, but Bhullar believes he achieved his objectives and ONE Championship will undoubtedly profit from those discussions as well.

“I’m a proponent of mutual success,” Bhullar declared. “I contribute to the sport. I bring something valuable to the table and I understand that. I don’t expect the organization to simply open their checkbook without getting value in return. I understand the benefits I can bring to the promotion.”

Following the signing of his new contract, which should have been his final step before returning to defend his title, Bhullar had to contend with a bicep injury that again sidelined him.

In his absence, undefeated Russian Anatoly Malykhin ascended rapidly in the ranks, first securing the interim ONE heavyweight title, then becoming a two-division champion by defeating former light heavyweight king Reinier de Ridder.

As he prepares for his comeback at ONE Friday Fights 22, Bhullar is not only armed with a new contract and a healed bicep, but also a worthy challenger to focus on.

“I am absolutely delighted now,” Bhullar expressed. “I have a formidable upcoming opponent who has accomplished a lot during my absence. Defeating him will be even more meaningful.

“With the Amazon Prime deal, our U.S. debut getting significant attention, our promotion gaining popularity in India led by Star Sports, my improved relationship with Chatri, fair remuneration, and the opportunity to benefit the company, especially as they prioritize the Indian market, everyone stands to gain. We just completed a tour in India and have more plans in the pipeline. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Arjan Bhullar’s contract renegotiation

Who is Arjan Bhullar?

Arjan Bhullar is a heavyweight champion in ONE Championship. He was previously in UFC before signing with ONE Championship as a free agent.

What was the outcome of Bhullar’s contract renegotiation with ONE Championship?

After a year-long negotiation, Arjan Bhullar successfully renegotiated a more lucrative contract with ONE Championship, which he believes was worth the wait and effort. This also led to an improved relationship with ONE CEO, Chatri Sityodtong.

Why was Arjan Bhullar out of action for two years?

Arjan Bhullar was out of action for two years primarily due to two reasons: lengthy contract renegotiations with ONE Championship, and a bicep injury which delayed his return to defend his heavyweight title.

Who is Bhullar’s upcoming opponent?

While the text does not specify the name of Bhullar’s upcoming opponent, it mentions that the contender has accomplished a lot in Bhullar’s absence, suggesting a formidable match for Bhullar’s comeback.

What’s significant about Bhullar’s upcoming fight?

This fight marks Bhullar’s return after two years of inactivity, and it’s his first fight after renegotiating his contract with ONE Championship. Additionally, it’s his opportunity to face a strong opponent who rose in ranks during his absence.

More about Arjan Bhullar’s contract renegotiation

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MMAfan123 June 23, 2023 - 2:35 am

Man, Bhullar’s a beast! can’t wait to see him back in the ring, feels like forever.

FightNightJunkie June 23, 2023 - 2:38 am

Contract negotiations in MMA are brutal, fair play to Bhullar for sticking it out and getting a better deal.

IndianTiger June 23, 2023 - 3:59 am

Bhullar’s done India proud. Hope this helps popularize MMA in India. all the best Arjan!

UFCforever June 23, 2023 - 6:32 pm

Kinda miss him in the UFC tho…still, One Championship’s gain, I guess.

PunchDrunkLove June 23, 2023 - 9:49 pm

thats tough, two years out! hope the new contract’s worth it. cant wait to see him fight again.


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