A UFC heavyweight is looking to bring some change to the UFC when it comes to the walk out to the Octagon.
Undefeated heavyweight Arjan Bhullar was born and raised in Canada and is of South Indian heritage. Bhullar, who is of Sikh faith, was not allowed to wear his turban for his walk to the Octagon at UFC 215 where he made his debut with the promotion against Luis Henrique in September. After being denied once, the heavyweight is seeking approval to wear his traditional customary headwear for his next Octagon walk.
“If they realize, it doesn’t conflict with Reebok athletes code for clothing,” Bhullar said making his case to MMAjunkie. “I brought it up, and it’s getting bounced around beyond that.”
The former Olympic wrestler says that fighting is just one of the things that he wants to do. Given the spotlight and platform he is on, the South Indian MMA star who hails from Canada also wants to educate those that aren’t familiar with his culture.
“Moving forward, I’m hoping to make (permission to wear the turban) a reality,” he said. “Not only that, but bring some awareness to what that’s about. There are obviously others out there who do not understand what that means for a culture like ours.
“As an athlete, I want to do more than just compete in the cage, so there’s a perfect scenario for me.”
Another one of Bhullar’s promotional debut walkout plans were foiled as WWE champion Jinder Mahal was supposed to walk out with the UFC heavyweight at UFC 215. However, due to Hurricane Irma hitting Mahal’s state of residence in Florida, the WWE star was unable to make the walk with Bhullar.
Arjan Bhullar will be looking to get a fight lined up early next year after a trip to India. With plans of fighting in January or February, Bhullar hopes his original Octagon walk out plans will soon come to fruition.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/26/2017.