Due to his extended absence from competition, ONE Heavyweight champion Arjan Bhullar’s tenure as the division’s top dog may be in jeopardy.
Despite having fought Brandon Vera in April 2021, Bhullar inked a new multi-fight contract with ONE earlier this year.
Since then, he hasn’t engaged in combat, and there aren’t any official plans for his comeback.
Bhullar and the promotion had a falling out over contract talks after Bhullar defeated Vera to win the heavyweight championship at ONE Dangal.
Although a new contract has been agreed upon, it is still being determined when his first championship defense will take place.
As a result, ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong recently acknowledged that he had drawn a firm boundary about Bhullar.
During a recent news conference, Sityodtong provided an update on Bhullar’s status concerning the promotion.
“I’ll be respectful,” Sityodtong said.
“I think he’s scared and he’s buying all the time that is possible. But the eventuality is either he fights or we will strip him. We’re at that point. I think my team is very frustrated because it’s one excuse after another for not wanting to fight.
“If he doesn’t fight soon he’ll be stripped and it will be our first time ever in the history of ONE stripping a champion.”
Following a brief career in the UFC that included victories over Juan Adams and Marcelo Golm, Bhullar joined ONE in 2019.
He defeated Mauro Cerilli in his ONE debut before receiving the championship opportunity.
If Bhullar loses the championship, ONE will probably schedule a title fight between two other challengers.