Former PRIDE heavyweight Gilbert Yvel, who is currently contracted to M-1 Global, is reportedly in talks with Affliction Entertainment about competing for the promotion.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com confirmed the reports with Jacob Schaap, M-1 Global’s Director of Communications.
“Affliction is negotiating with Yvel right now about a three fight deal,” said Schaap responding to a request for comment via e-mail. “Nothing is decided yet, but the negotiations are still happening.”
Yvel, 35-12-1, last competed on Nov. 21 during M-1 Challenge 9 in Russia, where he needed just 22 seconds to TKO Alexander Timonov. As per his agreement with M-1, Schaap indicated that Yvel is allowed to compete in the U.S.
The Dutch native has competed all over the world but would like to make a name for himself on U.S. soil.
“I like the M-1 (and) Affliction promotions very much,” Yvel said in a statement forwarded by Schaap. “I’m feeling stronger than ever and I am ready to suprise the MMA world.”
While Schaap expressed that nothing is imminent as far as a finalized deal between Yvel and Affliction, the promotion has an opening for its Jan. 24 “Day of Reckoning” event in Anaheim, Calif. As of now, former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett has been advertised for the show but does not have an opponent.
Attempts to sign a rematch between Barnett and Aleksander Emelianenko fell through after it was determined that Emelianenko could not be licensed in time. Additionally, an attempt to sign undefeated EliteXC heavyweight Brett Rogers to fight Barnett has apparently stalled as sources have indicated that ProElite has moved to block the matchup from happening.