Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently signed Olympic wrestler Arjan Bhullar, who racked up six straight wins on the regional circuit before joining the world’s premiere mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion back in September.
That’s where the 31-year-old Canadian — of South Indian origin and Sikh faith — defeated Luis Henrique at UFC 215. But the victory was overshadowed by the promotion’s decision to ban Bhullar from wearing his turban to the Octagon.
From his conversation with MMA Junkie:
“If they realize, it doesn’t conflict with Reebok athletes code for clothing. I brought it up, and it’s getting bounced around beyond that. 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.”
I’m trying to imagine what a Reebok-branded turban would look like.
Bhullar (7-0) is expected to make his return to the cage later this year, or perhaps first-quarter 2018 against an opponent to be named. Not surprisingly, he will once again ask promoters to allow him to wear a turban to the Octagon.
Whether or not they capitulate, remains to be seen.