IMMAF Medalist Anton Turkalj Goes The Distance With UFC Icon Gustafsson in Symbolic Bout

Anton Turkalj, a former IMMAF standout and medalist of the international amateur MMA platform went the distance this week in a no-gi submission grappling match with former UFC light-heavyweight title contender, Alexander Gustafsson.

23-year-old Turkalj faced off against Gustafsson, 32, going the ten-minute distance with Sweden’s greatest UFC star on December 11 as they headlined the card of AK Fighting Championship 3 in Gothenburg. The grappling superfight capped off a mixed lineup of MMA, Muay Thai and submission grappling bouts.

According to, the encounter played out predominantly on the feet and Gustafsson edged a points victory with momentary takedowns. However, the contest contained far more depth than that of a friendly roll.

Sharing the headline slot alongside a certified legend of Swedish MMA, Turkalj donned his aviators and made a flamboyant entrance to the sound of Justin Timberlake’s “I’m bringing back sexy back” while flanked by carnival dancers. If it was not already clear, the occasion served as the package intended to deliver and elevate the charismatic prospect as the man who Gustafsson’s torch may ultimately pass on to.

Following the event, Gustafsson discussed the potential of Turkalj with Sebastian Martinez:

In one of his standout IMMAF moments, Turklj stopped Belorussian Pavel Pahomenko in the opening round of the 2018 European Open semi-finals, avenging a previous defeat from the World Championships photo by Jorden Curran.

During his amateur tenure from 2015 to 2018, Turkalj built an overall record of 11-3, 8-3 at the elite IMMAF level representing the Swedish national team at light-heavyweight. He is a 2017 Asian Open silver medalist, 2017 World Championships bronze medalist and 2018 European Open silver medalist. He has been on fire since turning pro with a debut victory in Romania and has since dominated Sweden’s professional scene, currently 4-0 with all wins coming via stoppage.

Former IMMAF World & European Open gold medalist Cornelia Holm stormed to a home town triumph – photo by Stefan Romare.
Photo by Stefan Romare

Also on the card, former IMMAF world champion Cornelia Holm (pictured above) secured her latest pro victory, charging through Amilia Kapri to force a second round TKO stoppage. Holm moves to 4-1 at the professional level and continues her momentum now with a 3-fight win streak.

By lead writer: Jorden Curran 
Main Image: Stefan Romare |

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