Why Declan Larkin had to separate Anton Turkalj, Ibo Aslan at ‘BRAVE CF 40’ in Stockholm, Sweden

Anton Turkalj (©BRAVE CF)

Anton Turkalj (©BRAVE CF)

Anton Turkalj, 24, of Gothenburg, Sweden broke the undefeated professional mixed martial arts record of Ibo “The Last Ottoman” Aslan, 24, of Vienna, Austria at “BRAVE CF 40.” The two MMA fighters battled it out at a catch weight of 98kg.

In partnership with Swedish MMA promotion Bulldog Fight Night (BFN), Bahrain-based MMA promotion BRAVE Combat Federation held “BRAVE CF 40” in Stockholm, Sweden on August 24, 2020. The catchweight bout between Turkalj and Aslan was the co-main event of the evening.

After finishing the fight, instead of squashing the beef as usually fighters do, Turkalj added fuel to the fire and left the choke cursing Aslan. The two had to be separated by Declan Larkin, who served as the referee.

Kevin Sataki also had to help Larkin seprate Turkalj and Aslan inside the cage. Sataki refereed the other “BRAVE CF 40” bouts.


Turkalj and Aslan brought the intensity and hatred they portrayed during the official weigh-ins to the cage. After intense back-and-forth trash talk throughout the week, both fighters could not wait to trade punches and almost started before the bell rang.

When the bout indeed started, Aslan seemed to be the stronger, faster fighter as he landed almost at will, making Turkalj profusely bleed from the nose. The Austrian contender then gassed out and fell victim of his Swedish opponent’s grappling skills.

In the second round, Aslan seemed to fade and Turkalj stepped up. The Swedish contender eventually took his Austrian opponent down, got his back and submitted him with a rear-naked choke.

After the fight, Turkalj revealed his gameplan worked to perfection, which was making Aslan work in the first round and tire him out for a finish either in the second or the third frames. However, the rivalry does not seem to be over.

‘’If he has no respect for me, then I have no respect for him,” Turkalj said of Aslan in a post-fight interview. “It’s the fight game, someone wins and someone loses. If he’s not going to show me respect, I’m not going to show him respect back.”


‘’BRAVE CF has been very good to me and to the Swedish fighters,” Turkalj in a media interview before the “BRAVE CF 40” fight night. “There are no events happening in Europe and they have given us an opportunity to show ourselves, to fight, get paid and keep growing. I want to fight again very soon for BRAVE CF.”

Swedish MMA Federation president Jesper Gunnarson praised the way BRAVE CF has impacted Sweden’s MMA fighters and expressed his hopes to see the organization back very soon. He also praised the promotion’s founder, His Highness Shaikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa, for his continued commitment to driving the promotion forward.

‘’Opportunity to compete is essential for all competitive athletes in our sport,” Gunnarson said. “Right now, we struggle a lot with the pandemic and these events have been great opportunities both for our Swedish fighters as well as international ones. I’ve been involved in the organization of events before and I know it is hard work so I salute anyone that drives a promotion and the sport forward.”

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