UFC President Dana White is making wise use of his first UFC 108 video blog: He's introducing fans to Gilbert Yvel, an MMA veteran who will make his UFC debut against Junior dos Santos on Saturday night.
"I don't think a lot of you know who this guy is," White said. "This guy's an amazing striker. ... He's the only guy to knock out Cheick Kongo. Beat Semmy Schilt, just knocked out Pedro Rizzo recently. This guy is an incredible striker. The dos Santos-Gilbert Yvel fight is one of the fights I'm most excited about."
White is right to be excited: Yvel has won 31 fights by either knockout or TKO, and I'm not aware of anyone in MMA history who has more (T)KOs than that. His fight with dos Santos is pretty much guaranteed to be exciting.
On the other hand, there are some negatives about Yvel that UFC fans should be aware of: Although he usually comes across as a pleasant fellow, he has on three separate occasions been disqualified from fights, once for knocking out a referee, once for gouging an opponent's eyes, and once for biting an opponent. Yvel also doesn't have much of a ground game, and most of Yvel's wins have come against second-tier opponents.
Still, White sounds like he thinks Yvel could be one of the UFC's top heavyweights in 2010, if he finds a way to get past dos Santos.
"You beat him, this catapults you right in the mix, man," White told Yvel. "Puts you right in the mix."