First ever Sikh and Indian in UFC set to debut turban in Vaisakhi Day fight

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ARJAN Singh Bhullar is set to wear a turban during his ring entrance as he fights on the Gaethje vs Poirier UFC Fight Night card in Arizona this Saturday.

The Indo-Canadian heavyweight will be wearing the turban as a sign of his reverence of the Sikh faith he follows. Practicing Sikhs keep unshorn hair and wear a turban. Although this is not something Arjan does in everyday life, he will wear a Sikh turban – known as a dastaar – as a sign of respect for the warrior trait of the faith which he feels has helped him achieve success in the world of MMA (mixed-martial-arts).

Arjan Singh said of wearing the dastaar, “The turban was to embrace your uniqueness, to stand out. When I go talk to kids in schools, that’s what I tell them – is to embrace that uniqueness and ability to stand out.

“That’s exactly what this opportunity is about. It’s about that education, to let people know – especially in the U.S. – what the turban is. Don’t fear it, baby. Embrace it. It’s all good. We’re a people that’s very open.”

April 14 is not just a special day for Arjan Singh and Sikhs because of his bout on the day,  it is annually special as it marks the Sikh Vaisakhi, a celebration of the formation of the Khalsa, the army of initiated Sikhs that still lives by the codes set for them in 1699 by the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

“April 14th is very unique,” he explained. “It is the holiday of Vaisakhi, which is celebrated all over the world for Sikhs because this is a very, very critical and important holiday.”

“April 14th was the date that middle name, Singh, was given to us; all the men. Kaur for all the women. That is unique for us compared to any other person on this planet. We are all connected because of that and, even more, I am connected to the people throughout our history; generations before me, because of that.”

Arjan Singh said getting to fight on this holy day for Sikhs will be a ‘beautiful experience’: “It’s all coming together for that April 14th fight. It’s a holiday, my lineage, everything wrapped into one. I’m excited to be able to tell that story through this fight and through that platform.”

Fighting for the second time in the UFC, Arjan Singh will be looking to remain undefeated and possibly break into the official UFC heavyweight rankings with a win against Poland’s Adam Wieczorek in his second fight with the UFC.

Gurwin Singh Ahuja, executive director of the National Sikh Campaign, said he hopes Bhullar’s wearing of the dastaar will raise awareness about the Sikh community. “A majority of Americans do not even know who Sikhs are! I think Bhullar’s appearance will help introduce the broader public to the Sikh community, and I think his career will inform people that Sikhs are fighters, and that we fight for equality.”

Regarding his fighting DNA, Arjan Singh said “Sikhs have, throughout our history, stood and fought for what was right; for equality, for freedom. It doesn’t matter what gender, what caste, it doesn’t matter who, we stood and fought for what is right and that helped develop this warrior lineage.”

 

Quotes from this article have been taken from:

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/meet-the-first-ufc-fighter-to-wear-a-turban-to-a-match_us_5acbb0b1e4b0337ad1eaa557

http://mmajunkie.com/2018/04/arjan-bhullar-is-wearing-his-turban-to-ufc-on-fox-29-and-has-simple-message-dont-fear-it-embrace-it

https://www.bloodyelbow.com/2018/4/10/17178176/ufc-glendale-fox-29-arjan-singh-bhullar-fighting-vaisakhi-sikh-warriors-india-punjabi-mma-interview

 

(Submitted by Sikh Press Association with headquarters in London, U.K.)

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