by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
Controversial Dutch heavyweight Gilbert Yvel has been officially cleared to face Josh Barnett at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” on Saturday in Anaheim, Calif.
Bill Douglas, Assistant Executive Officer of the California State Athletic Commission, informed MMAWeekly.com that Yvel had submitted his final paperwork a little after 5 p.m. today and was subsequently issued a license to compete.
Douglas said Yvel’s path to Saturday’s ring was not an easy one, and he will be on a tight leash when he faces Barnett in the co-main event of the evening.
“He went through a vary tough licensing process. I would venture to say tougher than anything Mike Kyle or (Kazushi) Sakuraba went through,” he said.
“He went through it, and it was done in a fair and equitable manner, and he made it. Gilbert understands that while we are fair, there is even less than a zero tolerance policy in play here. So at this point, the rest is up to him to show the world what kind of professional he is.”
Among Yvel’s first statements at a press conference for “Day of Reckoning” on Wednesday in Los Angeles was a “thank you” to the commission.
The winner of Saturday’s bout will face the winner of Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski in March or April.