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Josh Barnett to face Gilbert Yvel at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning”

M-1 Global heavyweight and former PRIDE star Gilbert Yvel has signed a three fight contract with Affliction Entertainment and will be making his debut against Josh Barnett during the promotion’s “Day of Reckoning” event on January 24 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Officials with M-1 made the official announcement in a press release that was sent out Tuesday morning.

Yvel, 33-12-1, has been competing professionally in MMA since 1997 and is known for being a vicious striker. He is also known for unsportsmanlike conduct and in 2004 he was disqualified for assaulting a referee during a fight against Atte Backman.

The 2004 incident combined with several other instances prompted the Nevada State Athletic Commission to reject Yvel’s license application in anticipation of a scheduled bout vs. Sergei Kharitonov at PRIDE 33. After being denied a license, Yvel was forced to pull off the card.

Despite his history of unprofessional conduct, Yvel has earned a reputation for being a top heavyweight thanks in large part to notable victories over K-1 standout Semmy Schilt, current UFC heavyweight Cheick Kongo, and former PRIDE and UFC veteran Tsuyoshi Kohsaka.

Yvel’s addition to “Day of Reckoning” serves as the third M-1 contracted fighter to be added to the card. Already scheduled to compete from M-1 are Fedor Emelianenko and Kirill Sidelnikov, who will be fighting Andrei Arlovski and Paul Buentello, respectively. was also the first to report over the weekend that Sean Wheelock and Jimmy Smith, the announce team for M-1’s M-1 Challenge, will be serving as the announce team for the pay-per-view telecast.

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