Brandon Vera’s reign as the ONE Championship heavyweight king is over.
The longtime MMA veteran put his belt on the line against Arjan Bhullar in the main event of Saturday’s ONE Championship: Dangal in Singapore, and was no match for the Indian heavyweight star.
Bhullar put pressure on the feet since the first seconds of the fight, backing Vera against the case for three minutes before securing a single leg takedown. Bhullar couldn’t do much on the ground as Vera used a omoplata attempt to lock them down for two minutes until time ran out.
Things changed in the second round, however, when Bhullar rocked the champion with two powerful right hands, but Vera recovered. Bhullar took him down minutes later, raining down punches from top position. Vera attempted to get back on his feet, but Bhullar’s wrestling and control was too much for him, landing punches until the referee decided he had seen enough.
Arjan Bhullar becomes the FIRST Indian Mixed Martial Arts World Champion, stopping Brandon Vera with second-round strikes! @TheOneASB #ONEDangal #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/e6gblkjshC— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) May 15, 2021
“India, we got one now,” Bhullar said after the win. “Your first world champion. Let’s go.”
“We were gonna box him up, get in and out range, wrestle him, pressure him, break him. That was the gameplan,” he continued. “I knew I was gonna hurt him. My coaches knew it. I’m well trained, guys. I’ve been with the best since day one.”
Now 11-1 in the sport with a four-fight winning streak that includes two UFC wins and a pair of victories under the ONE Championship banner, Bhullar targets undefeated Ji Won Kang (5-0) as his first title defense inside the cage, but eyes a different challenge first.
“I have reached the pinnacle of this sport,” Bhullar said. “Now, I wanna attack the pro wrestling industry. AEW, WWE, I’m coming for you guys next. Consider this a warning.”
The co-main event featured a muay thai match between Tawanchai PK Saenchai and Sean Clancy, and Saenchai delivered a spectacular head kick knockout in the third stanza.
Tawanchai CLATTERS Sean Clancy with a head kick to cap an incredible ONE debut! #ONEDangal #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/qOKJKiUqp0— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) May 15, 2021
In the early portion of the card, Ayaka Miura tapped previously unbeaten Brazilian Rayane Bastos with a first-round scarf-hold americana. Miura, 11-3-0-1 in the sport, has finished five of her previous six wins with that same move.
Ayaka Miura scores her SIXTH win via scarf-hold Americana, forcing Rayane Bastos to tap in Round 1! @ayk917m #ONEDangal #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/myzaMBi71t— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) May 15, 2021
Check out the ONE Championship results below.
Arjan Bhullar def. Brandon Vera via TKO (R2, 4:27)
Bi Nguyen def. Ritu Phogat via split decision
Ayaka Miura def. Rayane Bastos via submission (scarf-hold americana) (R1, 2:58)
Gary Mangat def. Roshan Mainam via unanimous decision
Tawanchai PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym def. Sean Clancy via KO (R3, 0:35) — muay thai