Smith Victorious in UFC Debut, Bhullar Wins Second Straight

It was a good night in the UFC for B.C. fighters.

UFC Ottawa went down Saturday night at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ont. and featured several Canadian competitors, including two fighting out of B.C.

Squamish’s Cole Smith (now 7-0) was successful in his UFC debut, defeating UFC-veteran Mitch Gagnon (now 12-5) by unanimous decision in the first bout of the evening.

Smith said now that he’s achieved his goal of reaching the UFC and earning his first win, he feels the pressure’s off.

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“There’s not much pressure on me anymore. There was pressure on me before to perform just to get here,” said Smith in his post-fight interview.

“You got to look good when you’re fighting all the locals; you can’t even lose a round. If you lose a round, your stock goes down. Now, I’m here fighting and fighting the guys who are the best in the world, so the pressure’s kind of off. If you win, you win. If you lose, you lost to one of the guys who’s the best in the world.”

Although the victory did give Smith his seventh professional victory, he said he views it differently.

Once he was signed to the UFC, he considered himself starting all over again with a 0-0 record, and he’s now moved to 1-0.

“Who gives a sh*t about six wins before? Nobody cares. It’s all about what you do in this octagon,” said Smith.

“When you get to the UFC and lose your first fight, nobody cares if you were 100-0. You lost in the UFC, you’re 0-1. I’m 1-0 right now.”

Richmond’s Arjan Bhullar (now 9-1) was also successful in his heavyweight bout on the evening, taking a tight unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Juan Adams (now 5-1).

Bhullar said he wanted to show he was better than Adams everywhere, and didn’t need to rely solely on his elite wrestling to earn the victory.

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“I wanted to make a point of laying it on him with the stand-up and then taking him down when I wanted to,” said Bhullar in his post-fight interview.

“He talked a lot of garbage. Every time I shot I took him down, so that proves there are levels to this game.”

This was Bhullar’s final fight on his UFC contract, putting together two wins in the three bouts he signed for.

While he said he would like to re-sign with the UFC, Bhullar said he wants to be paid what he’s worth and said he’ll let the market decide what that dollar figure is.

In the event his next bout is indeed in the UFC, Bhullar called out MMA-legend Andre Arlovski for his next fight.

“This is an old man’s division and it’s time for the young guns to come out and take care of these old guys,” said Bhullar.

“These guys don’t leave unless you show them the door. You have to give them a reason to leave, and that’s why I intend on neutering the Pitbull and sending him into retirement.”