Indian-origin MMA fighter Bhullar using sports to empower women in India

Canada's Indian-origin MMA fighter Arjan Singh Bhullar has been providing sewing machines, cloth and other materials to help women in his native village.

Arjan Singh Bhullar

Arjan Singh Bhullar won the wrestling gold for Canada at the 2010 Commonwealth Games before switching to MMA.   -  Special Arrangement

Indian-origin Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Arjan Singh Bhullar has been lending a helping hand to his native village in Jalandhar to empower women and fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ONE Championship star, who won a wrestling gold for Canada at the 2010 Commonwealth Games before switching to MMA, has been providing sewing machines, cloth and various other materials to help the women in Billi Bhullar village make face masks during this crisis.

The 34-year-old also recently built a facility where the women can socialize.

“I have been frequently visiting India since I was a child. We have built a very special place within the village for the women to gather, as they, unlike men, have nowhere to go and spend time,” said Bhullar, whose upcoming bout is with ONE Heavyweight world champion Brandon Vera.

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“The women have a great time there and during the pandemic, they have been making masks with the sewing machines that I have procured for them. Today, these women are not only self-sufficient, but are also helping and empowering the entire village and the neighbouring region.”


Bhullar also has put up a local gym to help groom the next generation of Indian mixed martial arts stars.

“We built a gym shortly after the 2010 Commonwealth Games for the youngsters,” he said.

“It’s connected to the local school and kids come to practice sports from the adjoining villages too. The kids have all taken on sports in a professional way and it keeps them focused.

“I want to make my village a model village and spread the message that anything is possible all over India when the intent is right.”

Bhullar, who made his ONE Championship debut in October last in Tokyo and defeated top contender Mauro Cerilli, is determined to achieve his goal of becoming a ONE world champion and will take on the current heavyweight world champion Brandon Vera when the current health crisis subsides.

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