The Bengal is set to roam the desert this weekend.
Canada’s KB Bhullar (8-0) received the short-notice call to take on England’s Tom Breese (11-2) in a middleweight bout on Fight Island at UFC on ESPN+ 37 in Abu Dhabi, Dubai on Saturday night.
Bhullar, 28, said when he received the news of the opportunity from his manager, Ali Abdelaziz, he was happy and excited, but not at all shocked.
“I’m not that surprised. I considered this an inevitability; this is what I set out to do. This is just the next step,” said Bhullar in an interview with MMA Empire.
“It’s like any other fight really. You can’t put all the glitz and glamour of it being a big thing, and not treat it for what is actually is. It’s a f**king cage fight in the end, and that’s what you have to prepare yourself for. Don’t put anything in life on a pedestal; just do what you were meant to do and do what you’ve been trained to do.”
Before securing his UFC debut, Bhullar was originally scheduled to compete on Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS), taking on Bruno Oliveira on the Nov. 4 episode. Prior to signing the DWCS contract, Bhullar had several other opportunities arise, but fall through in the end.
In that time of constantly-changing circumstances, Bhullar said he tried not to focus so much on where his next fight will take place or who it will be against, but more on the fight itself.
“In this past year, there was a lot of speculation of being signed to the UFC. There were rumblings of me potentially fighting last October at UFC Boston, then there was something that came up with Contender Series in June to fight Jordan Wright, and then there was the Jordan Williams fight before that for Unified MMA,” said Bhullar.
“With the changes that have been happening, I just prepare myself for the fight itself. It’s three five-minute rounds of mixed martial arts. I don’t try and dwell too much on the promotional aspect of it.”
Bhullar coming off valuable five-rounder
Bhullar’s last outing in the cage was a unanimous decision win over UFC-veteran Matt Dwyer at Unified MMA 38 in Sept. 2019. With the victory, Bhullar also became the new Unified MMA middleweight champion.
Having only gone the distance on one other occasion in his career, with the rest of his wins coming via first round stoppage, Bhullar said the five-round fight with Dwyer was a valuable lesson in many aspects.
“That fight with Dwyer was just a very valuable learning tool. That fight taught me I have the aptitude and ability to go through a war and make it out the winner, and not crumble under pressure,” said Bhullar.
“That was a very valuable fight, especially the 25-minute affair that it was. Dwyer is a very tough guy; that guy’s like iron. I hit him with some shots that were captured in photos and my shin was basically going through his abdomen. You see half my shin through his abdomen, and he just ate it like a champ.”
Bhullar will now face the toughest test of his career in Breese, a veteran with six UFC fights on his resume, emerging victorious in four of those contests.
Bhullar said he’s not familiar with Breese or what he brings to the table, but said he’s confident in his own skills and instincts to emerge victorious.
“I don’t know much about him, and I don’t really care. I just have to let my instincts speak,” said Bhullar.
“I know I have a natural killer instinct, and I just have to let it fly and let my skills speak. I’m not worried about him.”
“I’d like to thank my coaches (Jeff Montemurro, Keijiro Noda). It’s an honour to represent Little Sweatshop and Frank Lee’s. I’d also like to thank my friends and my family.” Follow Bhullar on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM