M-1 Global is pleased to announce that Gilbert Yvel, one of its top heavyweight competitors, has agreed to terms on a three-fight contract with Affliction Entertainment.
Yvel will make his Affliction debut against former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett on January 24 in Anaheim, California at the Honda Center during "Day of Reckoning," to be presented by Affliction, M-1 Global, and Golden Boy Promotions.
Despite being veterans of the now-defunct PRIDE Fighting Championships in Japan, Yvel and Barnett have never fought before with "Day of Reckoning" serving as the first-ever meeting between the two.
Yvel, 33-12-1, who is known for the strong Muay Thai skills he developed while training in his home country of Holland, has been competing in mixed martial arts since 1997. Over the years, the veteran fighter has recorded notable victories over K-1 standout Semmy Schilt, current UFC heavyweight CheickKongo, and former PRIDE and UFC veteran Tsuyoshi Kohsaka.
Yvel's involvement serves to increase M-1's contributions to the event, as M-1 contracted fighters Fedor Emelianenko and Kirill Sidelnikov are already scheduled to compete.
Fedor will be featured during the show's main event when he defends his WAMMA heavyweight title against former UFC heavyweight champion AndreiArlovski.
Meanwhile, the 19-year-old fighting prodigy Sidelnikov, nicknamed "Baby Fedor," will be making his United States debut against former UFC heavyweight title challenger Paul Buentello in an undercard bout to be televised on HDNet.
Additionally, the M-1 Challenge broadcast team of play-by-play announcer SeanWheelock and color commentator Jimmy Smith will be calling the action during Affliction's pay-per-view telecast. Wheelock and Smith can be seen and heard in the U.S. every Friday at 8 p.m. ET during airings of the M-1 Challenge on HDNet.