White vlog: UFC works hard to intro UFC 108 fighter Yvel

Clark Kent

<B>News Bot</B>
Sep 11, 2006
Reaction score
12-29-2009 07:15 PM:The card with the black cloud over it, UFC 108, took another hit today. Shocking, right? Steve Cantwell is off the slate with an undisclosed injury. Vladimir Matyushenko is left without an opponent just five days before his scheduled fight. That makes it eight fighters who were originally scheduled and fill-ins who've had to pull out of the card because dings and dents.

The UFC lost a major fight when Gabriel Gonzaga pulled out of his fight against Junior Dos Santos. Matchmaker Joe Silva did a great job of scrambling by grabbing MMA veteran Gilbert Yvel (36-13, 31 KOs) to battle Dos Santos (9-1, 3-0 UFC). If you're saying "who", join the crowd. The majority of casual and newer UFC fans have no idea about Yvel. Don't believe that? Today after watching 500-plus fans mob Dana White, Rashad Evans and Dustin Hazelett during a "grand" entry for the fighters at the MGM Grand, no less than five minutes later Yvel stood alone in the MGM Grand lobby. After a few minutes several MMA hardcores did come up and ask for a picture. But even with a video reel playing in the background, most fans had zero clue.

Yvel's moment of anonymity is really emblematic of the card, because of the all changes there are lots of fighters featured on UFC 108 who've had little television time. Hand it to White and his P.R. crew, they're working hard to get the word out. It started yesterday with White's vlog where he used over half of the video to introduce people to Yvel.

White calls him an "amazing" striker. He may be overdoing it a bit but Yvel definitely has the tools to present Dos Santos with plenty of trouble. It's a ballsy risk by the UFC to put Yvel in there with hot prospect like DosSantos, 25. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder is a few wins away fromlegitimately demanding a title shot. There's also another risk. Yvel had been personna non grata in the U.S. in recent years because of discipline issues. He was actually denied a license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission back 2007. His trangressions included striking punching out a referee and several cases of dirty tactics (1998 bit an opponnet, 2001 eye gouging). Affliction rolled the dice on Yvel during January's Affliction 2 event. Yvel behaved before and during his fight against Josh Barnett. In spite of being mounted for 10-plus minutes, Yvel did an amazing amount of damage from the bottom.

Rest assured the UFC has had its talk with Yvel about any behavior/self-control issues. But this one could really blow up in the promotion's face if Yvel goes off the deep end.

Yahoo! Sports.
Cagewriter is an MMA blog edited by Steve Cofield.