Anton Tokarchuk is set for the toughest challenge of his career.
Calgary, Alta.’s Tokarchuk (4-4-1) will take on Edmonton, Alta.’s KB Bhullar (8-2), fresh off his two-fight tenure with the UFC, in a light heavyweight contest at Unified MMA 40 in Edmonton, Alta. on Saturday night.
Although this bout with Bhullar will be his toughest and most high-profile opponent of his career, Tokarchuk, 36, said he is treating Bhullar just like any other opponent.
“I don’t really see it as anything extra exciting if I win. I see him as just another opponent,” said Tokarchuk in an interview with MMA Empire.
“Yes he fought in the UFC and he didn’t do well there. But he hasn’t fought a guy like me either. He’s just an average guy, nothing special to me.”
Tokarchuk was last in action back in June at BFL 67, a unanimous decision loss to Justin Doege. Normally a light heavyweight fighter, Tokarchuk accepted that bout at a 225-pound catchweight against the larger Doege.
Although he didn’t earn the victory, Tokarchuk said he gained plenty of confidence from the fight knowing he was able to take a punch from a heavyweight.
“It was a good experience for me. It was kind of dangerous going into wild exchanges with him because he definitely had the size and power, but the good thing for me is I know I can take a punch from a 260 or 240 guy, whatever weight he was the next day,” said Tokarchuk.
“I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to take his punches because he’s heavier than me, but he hit me hard a few times and I was fine.”
Now competing back down at his usual 205 pounds, Tokarchuk will be the one welcoming his opponent up a weight class this time around as Bhullar makes the jump from his usual 185-pound division.
But despite Bhullar making the jump up to light heavyweight, Tokarchuk said he doesn’t expect he will have much of a size advantage come fight night.
“I don’t believe I’ll be the bigger guy because he is such a tall guy, 6’3″ or 6’4″ I believe. Something tells me he walks around at 205 pounds and cuts down to 185,” said Tokarchuk.
“I haven’t seen him in person, but I think he is probably a good, solid 205er. I don’t think there will be much size difference; I don’t think I’ll have that kind of advantage. It’s not like I’m 30 pounds heavier because I walk around at 210 pounds.”
With all four of his professional wins coming via first round knockout, Tokarchuk has proven his threat in the striking department.
Bhullar has also shown his prominence in the standup game throughout his career, which is something Tokarchuk is looking to test on Saturday night.
“He’s technical and likes his fancy kicks and all that kind of stuff, but I like my standup game as well, so I’ll probably check him out on that,” said Tokarchuk.
“We’ll see how good he is, how good he actually is with the standup and everything.”
“I want to thank my team at Dynamic MMA, my coach, Vince Gentile, and all my training partners.”