Veteran light-heavyweight mixed martial artist Gilbert Yvel (38-16-1) has announced his retirement from MMA after a 16 year career competing in organizations such as the UFC, PRIDE, K-1, Affliction, RINGS, M-1 Challenge, and Cage Rage.
Yvel told groundandpound.de of his retirement after a series of fight postponements and cancellations, as well as a kidney issue.
“I’ve been fighting for the last 16 years. … I’m done. I’m tired. I don’t want to punch nobody anymore. I want to teach people, train and have fun. I’ve been fighting for 16 years. That’s a long time.”
The Dutch bad boy was known earlier in his career for his unsportsmanlike conduct and unpredictability. This reputation stems from several instances of foul play; including a disqualification for biting opponent Karimula Barkalaev in 1998, eye-gouging Don Frye in 2001, and even knocking out a referee with a blow to the head during a 2004 match against Atte Backman and then kicking the ref while he was down.
However, Yvel cleaned up his act to sign with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2009. After losing his only three fights in the Octagon to stiff competition (Junior Dos Santos, Ben Rothwell, and Jon Madsen), Gilbert signed with RFA in 2011. His most recent outing was a first round knockout of Houston Alexander at RFA 2 last year.
Yvel holds 32 career knockout wins, and notable career victories over Cheick Kongo, Pedro Rizzo, Valentijn Overeem, Gary Goodridge and Semmy Schilt.