Swedish UFC light heavyweight Anton Turkalj is set to take on a familiar opponent in his fourth UFC bout, as he’s now booked against Turkish UFC newcomer Ibo Aslan.
Turkalj’s coach Joakim Engberg revealed the news during a recent episode of Swedish fighting prodcast Käftsmällspodden. Frontkick subsequently confirmed with sources that the fight is signed by both parties and will go down at the UFC Fight Night event in Atlantic City on March 30.
Ibo Aslan out for revenge against Anton Turkalj
Anton Turkalj and Ibo Aslan fought previously under the Brave Combat Federation banner at Brave CF 40 in Stockholm, Sweden in 2020. Back then, both fighters were undefeated. Tensions were high and there was a lot of bad blood between the fighters leading up to the bout with, with Aslan shoving Turkalj at the weigh-ins and allegedly calling him a “faggot”.
Turkalj would ultimately snap Aslan’s win streak as he came out victorious by second-round submission after a grueling first round. As he secured the win, a fired up Turkalj made sure to rub it in Aslan’s face, shouting towards his defeated opponent as the referee tried to pull him away.
Now, Aslan will get the opportunity to redeem his first and only professional loss to date as he’ll meet Turkalj again, but this time inside the UFC octagon.
During a podcast appearance last year, Aslan blamed late notice, a bad weight cut and sickness for his loss as he looked back at the bout against Turkalj and promised to beat him should they fight again.
“If we fight 100, I kill him 99 times,” Aslan told Käftsmällspodden. “We will meet see you soon again, Anton.”
A clash of DWCS alumni at UFC Atlantic City
After their first fight in Brave, Anton Turkalj and Ibo Aslan would later win fights in different seasons of Dana White Contender Series. Turkalj didn’t get signed right away, but later got the call to make his UFC debut in a catchweight bout against now top ranked heavyweight contender Jailton Almeida.
Now, Turkalj is 0-3 inside the octagon with a 8-3 pro record overall. In one of his UFC losses, against undefeated Vitor Petrino, Turkalj shared “Fight of the Night” honors and was awarded a 50,000 dollar bonus. And now, it seems as though he’s left a good enough impression on the UFC brass to get to fight out his four-fight contract, even with a full fight camp to prepare, despite still being winless in the world’s premier MMA promotion.
As for Aslan, he’s 12-1 in MMA and coming off an impressive first-round TKO finish against Paulo Renato Jr. during the 2023 season of DWCS. However, it should be noted that a bunch of Aslan’s victories has come against fighters with negative records.
UFC Atlantic City is headlined by a welterweight bout Sean Brady and Vicente Luque.