Sultan, released in 2016, is a Hindi-language sports drama film from India directed by Ali Abbas Zafar. Produced by Aditya Chopra under the Yash Raj Films banner, the movie stars Salman Khan and Anushka Sharma. The story revolves around Sultan Ali Khan, a fictional wrestler and former world champion from Haryana, whose successful career creates turmoil in his personal life.
Set in a small town called Rewari, Haryana, Sultan Ali Khan is a middle-aged wrestler and former champion living a solitary life. A private mixed martial arts league, supported by Mr. Patel and founded by Aakash Oberoi, seeks to revive its popularity and approaches Sultan for recruitment. However, Sultan, who claims to have retired from wrestling completely, rejects the offer. Curious about the reasons behind Sultan’s retirement, Aakash approaches Sultan’s close friend Govind, who narrates the story of Sultan’s journey.
According to Govind, in 2008, Sultan falls in love with Aarfa Hussain, a state-level wrestler and the daughter of a local wrestling coach. Initially distant, Aarfa eventually accepts Sultan as a friend. Sultan, determined to earn her respect, undergoes intense training and wins a state-level wrestling tournament, as well as Aarfa’s heart. They get married and become celebrated wrestlers, representing India in international competitions.
During their journey, Aarfa discovers she is pregnant when they are selected for the Olympic contingent. Sacrificing her own dream of winning an Olympic gold medal, Aarfa supports Sultan as he fulfills his ambition. However, Sultan’s success and newfound arrogance lead him to make regrettable choices. He slaps a reporter and leaves Aarfa alone during her pregnancy to pursue a gold medal in Turkey. Tragically, upon his return, Sultan learns that his newborn son, who shared his rare blood type, died due to a lack of a donor. Devastated, Aarfa decides to leave Sultan and return to her father’s home. In his grief, Sultan resolves to establish a blood bank in his son’s name.
In the present day, Aakash approaches Sultan with a promise that the prize money from a tournament will enable him to fulfill his dream of opening the blood bank. Sultan agrees and travels to Delhi to train. There, Aakash introduces him to Fateh Singh, an MMA coach who initially rejects Sultan but eventually agrees, impressed by his determination. After rigorous training, Sultan regains his physical fitness and learns freestyle wrestling. In his first fight, he triumphs using capoeira techniques. With a series of victories, Sultan gains nationwide fame and garners support from Aarfa.
During the semifinal round against his opponent Tyron Woodley, Sultan emerges victorious but sustains severe injuries requiring hospitalization. The doctor warns Aakash that further fights could prove fatal. Aarfa arrives at the hospital and motivates Sultan to keep fighting. In the final match, Sultan overcomes his pain, defeats his opponent, and emerges as the tournament champion. Reunited with Aarfa, Sultan utilizes the prize money to establish the blood bank, while Aarfa resumes her wrestling career. Years later, they have a baby girl whom Sultan begins training as a wrestler