The sixteen-year MMA career of Gilbert Yvel has come to a close as he announced his retirement from the sport of mixed martial arts. Yvel made the news official in an interview with German news outlet Ground and Pound TV.
Yvel, 37, retires with a competitive record of 38-16-1 with 1 no-contest. He is noted for being one of the first strikers in MMA for effectively implementing a Dutch style of Muay Thai. Yvel also developed a reputation early in his career for unsportsmanlike behavior. He bit Karimula Barkalaev in 1998, eye gouged Don Frye at PRIDE 16 in September of 2001 and attacked a referee in 2004. This eventually led to problems getting a license to compete as his scheduled bout with Sergei Kharitonov at PRIDE 33 in 2007 was not allowed when the Nevada State Athletic Commission denied him a license. He made efforts later to repair his damaged image and was able to convince both the NSAC and California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) to grant him a license in 2009.
The Dutch heavyweight began competing professionally in small European shows in 1997 before moving to PRIDE in 2000. He fought 10 times for the organization, claiming wins over Akira Shoji and Gary Goodridge.
Yvel continued to compete in European shows before finally making the move stateside in 2009 where he lost to Josh Barnett by third-round stoppage. After beating Pedro Rizzo in 2009 for a small regional U.S. show, Yvel debuted with the UFC in 2010. He would fight three times for the organization, losing all three. He was stopped in the first round against Junior dos Santos at UFC 108, defeated by decision against Ben Rothwell at UFC 115 and stopped with strikes in the first round against Jon Madsen at UFC 121.
Yvel ended his career with the RFA promotion, beating Damian Dantibo at RFA 1 in December 2011 with a first-round TKO and fellow UFC veteran Houston Alexander via first-round KO.