Dutch Muay Thai specialist Gilbert Yvel (35-12-1) has finally been licensed by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) and will be able to compete at Affliction: "Day of Reckoning" at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., against former UFC heavyweight champion Josh "The Babyface Assassin" Barnett (23-5) on January 24.
Affliction officials are no doubt breathing a huge sigh of relief at this point, especially in light of the news that former International Fight League (IFL) lightweight champion Chris Horodecki failed a pre-fight physical yesterday and has been blocked by the CSAC from competing against Dan Lauzon at Saturday's event.
Yvel had a difficult time getting licensed to fight in the United States. In fact, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) rejected his application to compete against Sergei Kharitonov at PRIDE 33 in Las Vegas as recently as February 2007.
That’s because "The Hurricane" has a history of "dirty" behavior inside the ring — everything from assaulting referees to eye gouging to biting opponents. No question Yvel will be under the microscope when he faces Barnnett.
The Pride FC veteran is currently enjoying a seven-fight win streak, dating back to mid 2006. He most recently stopped Alexander Timonov via technical knockout (punches) in just 22 seconds at M-1 Challenge 9 a few weeks ago.
Yvel has been up against some of the best in the business during his 11-year career, including Semmy Schilt (win), Dan Henderson (loss), Vitor Belfort (loss), Wanderlei Silva (N/C), Igor Vovchanchyn (loss) and Cheick Kongo (win), among others.
"Day of Reckoning" features the colossal clash between WAMMA Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko and former UFC titleholder Andrei Arlovski. Of course, we will also pass along Horedecki’s replacement as soon as possible. To check out the latest fight card click here.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow results of all the action on fight night.