Referee Herb Dean issued an ultra-rare red card in order to disqualify UFC veteran Arjan Bhullar earlier today (Fri., Mar. 1, 2024) at ONE 166 from inside Lusail Sports Arena in Lusail, Qatar, as the former ONE heavyweight champion offered mind-numbing inactivity during his main card clash with Amir Aliakbari.

ONE Championship is one of the only mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions to offer this card system and it works well. Other organizations allow for positions to be taken away or points to be deducted for inactivity, but ONE permits referees to hand out yellow card warnings and the rare red card if an athlete needs to be disqualified for not fighting.

That’s exactly what happened on Friday when Bhullar matched up against fellow heavyweight Aliakbari. As usual, Bhullar was calculated in his approach and offered slowed offense from the opening round. This carried over into the second round as well. Along the way, Dean gave two yellow card warnings to Bhullar to try to entice him to open up and fight.

Sadly, the Canadian fighter didn’t oblige and kept his hard-to-watch inactivity up into the third round. That prompted Dean to issue a red card and officially disqualify Bhullar from his heavyweight matchup. It’s certainly a rarity in MMA, but it seemed well-warranted in this case.

Check out the final moments of the bout below along with post-fight reaction from ONE Championship CEO, Chatri Sityodtong:

Author: Staff

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