Gilbert Yvel has had a much publicized career, filled with ups and downs, and controversy has been a looming shadow almost from the beginning. Biting, eye gouging, punching referees and refusal to get licensure are things that can permanently stain a fighter's legacy, and in the eyes of some, due to these fouls, he is unredeemable.
Despite those aforementioned acts, Yvel made great strides to eradicate them from his history, even managing to get licensed (albeit a one off thing) in Las Vegas, where he had been banned, and met with CSAC execs to regain licensure in California. Since 2004, Gilbert conducted himself as a model athlete, incurring no further infractions or blemishes on his record.
Yvel holds wins over some of the most historic names in MMA, including Pedro Rizzo, Chieck Kongo, Valntijn Overeem, Houston Alexander, Gary Goodridge and Semmy Schilt. His knockout win over Carlos Barreto was absolutely brutal. Win or lose, he was an exciting fighter to watch.
It goes without saying, when you have a career in sports that spans more than 16 years, the body tends to want to put up it's own fight, and oft times will just stop cooperating the way it's desired to. In MMA, we see fighters retiring much sooner that this, due to the wear and tear it puts on the body. Going out on a win is almost unheard of, and very few have been able to achieve this.
Gilbert Yvel is one of the few, though. He recently announced his retirement, at the ripe old age of 36, via a German website, GNP TV. Funnily enough, as I'm writing this story about Mr. Yvel's historic career, I have realized that today is his birthday. Anyway, back to the task at hand, the video interview: