We reported earlier in the week that heavyweight prospect Junior Dos Santos still remains without an opponent for his fight at UFC 108 on January 2nd after Gabriel Gonzaga pulled out injury. With a number of other heavyweights on the roster struggling with injury the UFC’s options to provide a compelling match-up for one of the divisions rising stars appeared limited.
Now a surprising rumor has emerged, via Brazilian site Tatame, that the UFC may be looking bring in controversial Dutch heavyweight fighter Gilbert Yvel to fill the void.
“We know Gilbert is a very strong guy,” Dos Junior’s boxing coach told the site. “He like to fight standing, but ‘Cigano’ is better in striking now, we’re doing our job and I know we’re gonna get the victory.”
Yvel is a veteran in the sport with a record of 36 wins, 13 losses, one draw and one no contest. He is renowned for his vicious K.O power, with 31 of his victories coming by way of knockout, but his ground game has proven to be a weakness in the past.
Over the course of his career he has had notable wins over fighters like Semmy Schilt, Cheick Kongo, Valentijn Overeem and in his most recent fight, former UFC competitor Pedro Rizzo.
He has also lost to some familiar names from the UFC’s past and present, including Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort, Josh Barnett and Jeremy Horn, along with a no contest against Wanderlei Silva after he was struck in the groin.
If this deal does indeed go ahead then the 33 year old striker will be an exciting addition to the division, but there are strings attached.
The Dutchman is a volatile character and has been at the center of controversy in a number of fights during his career. He has been disqualified for biting, for eye gouging, and most infamously, for punching a referee.
Despite this it appears that the UFC are willing to take a gamble on Yvel as they look to provide a suitable opponent for Junior Dos Santos at UFC 108. If the fight is indeed signed then it could prove to be an explosive encounter on the feet, but Dos Santos is rumored to have a strong BJJ game and Yvel has been close to being submitted numerous times in the past.
We will still have to wait for official conformation of this signing, but in the mean time, check out the fearsome striking of Gilbert Yvel via the video below.