Arjan Bhullar (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) goes down in the history books as the first Sikh and fist Indo-Canadian fighter in UFC history, but he also scores those marks as a winner after getting past Luis Henrique (10-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC).
The heavyweight bout was part of today’s UFC 215 early prelims, which took place at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and aired on UFC Fight Pass.
Bhullar took the center of the cage to start, keeping his hands high as he and Henrique threw a few heavy blows in the early going. Henrique continually pawed a jab, keeping Bhullar at range while sneaking in the occasional right hand. Bhullar did finally get inside late in the frame, thought Henrique dealt well with a few early attempts to take the fight to the floor.
Bhullar continued to hold the center in the second, opening up a bit with strikes and slipping huge right hands in return. Henrique continued to paw the jab, but Bhullar found the mark with a counter right and sent his opponent to the floor. Henrique recovered quickly and scrambled to his feet, but Bhullar flashed his wrestling base by changing levels, raising his opponent high in the air and slamming him to the floor. Bhullar’s corner implored him to remain patient while he worked on top, and the fighter responded with a measured attack, driving in the occasional forearm and drawing blood from Henrique’s nose.
Henrique seemed to find himself energized to start the third, pressing forward from the start and firing heavy punches before landing a big kicks to the body and leg. Bhullar stood firm in the center, but Henrique continued to press the pace with strikes, scoring with straight punches on the outside and a few uppercuts inside. Bhullar tried to work inside for another takedown, but it was obvious he was slowing as the final round progressed. Bhullar returned fire in the final minute, but Henrique was in clear control at the close of the fight. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, Bhullar had done enough over the first two rounds to take home the unanimous-decision victory, 29-28 on all three card.
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