Gilbert Yvel, the controversial Dutch fighter scheduled to face Josh Barnett at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning on Jan. 24, has cleared one hurdle to fighting in California.
Bill Douglas, Assistant Executive Officer of the California State Athletic Commission, on Tuesday night informed MMAInsider he had granted Yvel permission to apply for a fighter’s license in the Golden State.
Last year, Yvel was denied a license to fight in Nevada after its athletic commission reviewed several inflammatory incidents in his career including knocking a referee out, biting a referee, and eye gouging an opponent.
Douglas stressed the action was only a first step to Yvel fighting on Jan. 24.
“He must meet all of the licensing requirements, as would any other applicant, before he can be considered ‘approved,’ Douglas wrote. “If he is fully approved, the rest will be up to Gilbert.”
Yvel will now be required to submit the necessary paperwork for licensure, including bloodwork, EKG, current neurological exam, opthamological exam, a pre-fight medical questionnaire, and physical.
Should his paperwork be acceptable to Mr. Douglas, Yvel will be on his way. Douglas gave no timetable for when the paperwork was required. However, since California began regulating MMA in March of 2006, the commission has on several occasions balked at last minute submissions. Several fighters, including Joe Riggs, Nick Diaz, and Hong Man Choi, were denied licenses when their paperwork was turned in late or with details deemed to require further investigation.
You can bet if Yvel wants to make his trip worthwhile, he will have the documents hand delivered.