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Steve Cofield

Lack of interest is least of problems with Barnett-Yvel matchup

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

Affliction was shredded last week on the internet for booking top five heavyweight Josh Barnett against the controversial Gilbert Yvel (33-12). Yvel is a guy who is relatively unknown beyond hardcore MMA circles. And that may be a good thing. Apparently, he's a loose cannon when it comes to fighting cleanly. Fightlinker points out that he's had several embarrassing incidents over the years. The Nevada State Athletic Commission felt he was too risky to even license for a 2007 fight:

vs. Karimula Barkalaev in 1998: Yvel was disqualified for biting his opponent.

vs. Dan Henderson in 2000: Yvel landed a calculated elbow on Henderson directly behind the ear while Henderson was working for a takedown.

vs. Don Frye in 2001: Yvel repeatedly gouged Frye’s eyes, was eventually disqualified and placed his hands on the referee.

vs. Atte Backman in 2004: Yvel assaulted the referee by knocking him to the ground and then kicking his hapless frame into unconsciousness.

There's two ways to look at Yvel's shot to be cleared by the California State Athletic Commission for the Jan. 24 fight card at Anaheim's Honda Center. Maybe Affliction can slip it by the interim regime or as Fightlinker points out, the CSAC is in no position to risk something terrible happening on this crucial card.

After the jump Affliction's Tom Atencio says Yvel's dirty tactics make the fight more interesting.

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