Arjan Bhullar first Indian-origin fighter to win world title at top-level MMA event

Singapore: ONE Championship (ONE), Asia’s largest global sports media property, returned Saturday with ONE: DANGAL, a tape-delayed event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium that showcased the very best of India.

The event featured the ONE Super Series debut of a Thai striking phenom and four compelling mixed martial arts contests, including a battle for the ONE Heavyweight World Title. In the main event, Arjan “Singh” Bhullar dethroned longtime heavyweight king Brandon “The Truth” Vera to capture the ONE Heavyweight World Title and become the first Indian-origin Mixed Martial Arts World Champion in history.

Bhullar cautiously approached Vera in the first round, looking to string together combinations to set up a takedown. The Indian star stifled Vera with feints and strikes, freezing the Filipino-American on his feet and making him hesitant to engage. Bhullar took Vera down toward the end of the opening frame and controlled him on the mat.

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In the second round, Bhullar capitalized on his feints by catching “The Truth” with an overhand right that sent him reeling toward the Circle Wall.

A few more right hands compounded the damage, and a debilitating body shot had Vera gasping for air. Once “Singh” was able to close the distance and latch onto the defending World Champion with a body lock, it signalled the beginning of the end. Bhullar brought Vera to the mat and pounded him out for the technical knockout victory.

Muay Thai phenom Tawanchai PK. Saenchai Muaythaigym made his promotional debut in the co-main event and dominated former WBC Muay Thai World Champion Sean “Clubber” Clancy to win by knockout in round three.

Operating behind a furious offensive, Tawanchai attacked with force, showcasing leaping elbows, laser-like punching accuracy, and his signature left kick. A left hand dropped Clancy in the first round, but the Irishman was able to recover. In the third and final frame, a solid left roundhouse kick to the jaw ended the fight abruptly.

In a women’s atomweight contest, perennial contender Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen took home a hard-earned victory over Indian wrestling superstar Ritu Phogat, winning by razor-thin split decision after three close rounds.

Fourth-ranked women’s strawweight contender Ayaka Miura made quick work of Rayane Bastos, submitting the Brazilian in the first round of a catchweight contest. Additionally, Indian veteran Gurdarshan “Saint Lion” Mangat overcame a spirited effort from the rising star and compatriot Roshan Mainam to win by unanimous decision.

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