Who is Ibo Aslan?

Ibo Aslan will make his official UFC debut at UFC Atlantic City.
Ibo Aslan
Ibo Aslan /

After 13 professional fights on the regional circuit, Ibo Aslan will make his first walk to the Octagon on March 30 after picking up a dominant win on season seven of Dana White's Contender Series. A 27-year-old light heavyweight prospect, Aslan hails from Istanbul, Turkey, and trains out of several different gyms including American Top Team Zagreb, Tiger Muay Thai and Xtreme Couture. Due to his nationality, Aslan goes by the fight moniker "The Last Ottoman" but also occasionally refers to himself as "Turkish Power."

In his young career, Aslan has won championship belts in multiple regional promotions including the Austrian Fight Challenge and Vendetta Austria. Of the three fighters making their debut on the UFC Atlantic City fight card, Aslan, 12-1, has the potential to make the biggest splash. In his seven-year professional career, all of Aslan's wins have come by knockout with all but one being in the first round.

Aslan's knockout streak culminated with a thorough beatdown of Paulo Renato Jr. on Dana White's Contender Series in August 2023, his fourth consecutive first-round knockout win. Aslan was one of five fighters to earn a contract from UFC CEO Dana White on his episode of the show with the four others having already fought in the time since.

After his most recent win, Aslan jokingly credited his "Turkish Power" to his avid consumption of Turkish food and coffee in his post-fight media interviews.

You must eat because if you eat Turkish food then you get this knockout power. Turkish Adana [and] Turkish coffee, I love these both and I eat Turkish food every day. They give me energy, they give me power, and it's something for my power."

Ibo Aslan credits his 'Turkish power' to Turkish coffee

However, despite his impressive record and being tasked to make his initial UFC appearance against a fighter with a 0-3 record in the promotion, Aslan's Octagon debut will not be a setup. Aslan's March 30 opponent, Anton "The Pleasure Man" Turkalj, has been the only fighter to beat him thus far with a submission at BRAVE CF 40 in 2020.

The fight with Turkalj was only the second time Aslan had ever entered the second round. After likely winning round one by hurting Turkalj and cutting him open, Aslan gassed out in the second frame before being taken down and submitted with a rear naked choke.

Regardless of the outcome of their first meeting, Aslan enters UFC Atlantic City as the slight betting favorite. Turkalj, who is also a product of Dana White's Contender Series, is likely in his last opportunity to pick up a UFC win, having lost his last three fights to Jailton Almeida, Vitor Petrino and Tyson Pedro.