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Josh Barnett vs. Gilbert Yvel is an embarrassing fight to book in Affliction

By Zach Arnold | December 3, 2008

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Words cannot describe my first emotions when reading this report that Josh Barnett, one of the world’s best heavyweights, is going to face the useless Gilbert Yvel on January 24th for the Affliction 2 event in Anaheim, California at the Honda Center.

First off, you could not book a more worthless fight for Barnett than this encounter. Gilbert Yvel, as I alluded to in an earlier post, meant something in 1997 when he was fighting in RINGS. He has never meant anything in the American MMA scene and never will mean anything in the American MMA scene. Barnett/Yvel is such a pointless fight. The only motive I could see in terms of Josh taking this fight is money and that’s it. You’re not going to elevate your career one bit by facing Gilbert Yvel.

Second, was the signing of Yvel some sort of condition for Affliction to get Emelianenko Aleksandr or others from Red Devil on the fight card?

Third, I would be surprised if the California State Athletic Commission goes ahead and sanctions this fight.

Fourth, the idea that Affliction would pay out money to even book this fight shows that they do not have a serious matchmaking philosophy right now, in my opinion. No one is interested in seeing Barnett/Yvel — not a casual fan, not a Sherdog message board poster, not anyone who is inside the business. What a waste of money and time this situation is.

Topics: Affliction, M-1, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 75 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

75 Responses to “Josh Barnett vs. Gilbert Yvel is an embarrassing fight to book in Affliction”

  1. The Gaijin says:

    Sorry I should have said 4…4th being Barnett. But he always tries to run and gun with strikers, so we barely even saw him try any of that against Mirko anyways.

  2. cyph says:

    Fightlinker has a link to the Atlantic article about how TUF came about. It’s quite an interesting read and should put to rest the question of where TUF came from.

  3. jdavis says:

    “You and you alone are responsible for what goes into your body.”

    That is the policy for athletic drug testing already. Yea there is occasionally someone who gets their suspension reduced but when has anyone gotten their suspension reversed for this? Even proving it was accidental doesn’t get a fighter out of a suspension.

  4. Zack says:

    “It’s quite an interesting read and should put to rest the question of where TUF came from.”

    Since no one at Zuffa has ever been guilty of revisionist history.

  5. cyph says:

    Right, they concocted this elaborate story and everyone who’s been in on it has been paid to keep their mouths shut. Put your tin foil hat back on.

  6. jdavis says:

    Not sure where the Barnett hate on this subject is coming from. It’s not like Barnett is booking the fight, this is obviously M-1 bs that is going on here. Instead of bashing Barnett over a Fedor fight in 2006 that never happened wouldn’t this be where people should be bashing the “crazy Russians” and wondering if this is the kind of silly crap that crashed the Fedor/UFC negotiations?

  7. This is insane. Barnett refused the Fedor fight in 2006 because he fought a total of SEVEN TIMES that year, including two fights against Nog and one against CroCop. The man needed a rest before fighting the most dominating fighter in MMA history.

    All that being said; this new match-up is beyond poor. They need Aleks/Barnett. And if Barnett doesnt step up to Fedor anytime soon, then I will lose respect for him.

  8. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    You could always book him for a pro wrestling gig instead. That would be slighly more useless.

  9. Jeff says:

    “A. He barely did after kneeing him in the nuts and leaning against him in the cage all fight.

    B. Some fighters are just kryptonite for other fighters. That being said, fight #1 was a total fluke injury, fight #2 was pretty much the Kongo-Cro Cop fight without the flagrant groin shots and fight #3 was an actual conclusive ending, albeit Barnett has a 3 round war with Nog vs. 6 min KO for Mirk and iirc correctly it ended b/c of a fingerpoke to the eye that set up the pounding.

    A. Oh c’mon Cro Cop didn’t do anytihng after the first round vs Kongo. He put him against the cage, but he also outstruck him when they weren’t.

    B. Fight #2 had PLENTY of groin shots from Josh, or at least Crop Cop said they were. And why are you making excuses for Josh losing? In case you didn’t understand my point when I made the statement, I was commenting to the sarcastic poster who said Brock would be top 5 after he beat Kongo. I reasoned that Kongo would a great win because he did something in one fight that Josh couldn’t do in three.

  10. jr says:

    Affliction is the XPW of MMA

  11. samscaff says:

    Cyph says:

    “I was down on Fedor for not fighting top competition.”

    And this was bullshit at the time and still is. Is it a coincidence that the fighters that people like you are constantly bashing were all Pride fighters?? I dont think so.

    You were wrong about Fedor…and youre wrong about Barnett.

  12. cyph says:

    I’ve never called Fedor a scrub. Don’t attribute others comments with mine. I said Fedor didn’t want to fight top competition back then. He didn’t until he fought Tim. Was I wrong then? No.

    Barnett is currently ducking top competition while he has no problem signing up to fight fighters he know he can beat. Am I wrong about that? No.

    Nowhere did I call him a scrub. Don’t use straw man tactics to defend the fact that Barnett doesn’t want to fight Fedor or Arlovski. Affliction is not going to have a 3rd event so what’s he waiting for?

  13. Bongo says:

    Cyph…STFU, moron, you are doing nothng but embarassing yourself by showing you have no idea.

  14. The Gaijin says:

    ^ Well that clearly settles that. *wipes hands*

    I do have to disagree that Fedor didn’t want to fight top opponents. Barnett wouldn’t fight him nor would Cro Cop after the OW tourney, he’d beaten Nog x2, and he’d plowed through everyone else before then…so he got Hunt. Pretty much the only HW available that would fight him.

    Granted he fought Lindland and HCM – I’ll forgive the NYE fight because that was the big money fight and for some reason that’s what the Japanese fans/promoters wanted. But to say he’d avoided “top fighters” until Tim is pushing it. He fought everyone that was considered to be “top fighters” at the time and that weren’t under UFC contract.

  15. cyph says:

    There was a two year stretch that made many doubt if he was the top heavyweight in the world. Obviously after dispatching Tim, the point is moot. And now with the Arlovski fight, I don’t think there can be any doubt that he’s fighting the best available. As for Barnett…

  16. Preach says:


    “Affliction is the XPW of MMA”

    XPW was around longer than Affliction ever will be. And Lizzy Borden was much better looking than Tom Atencio!

  17. Vic Mackey says:

    Ivan is correct. The only one in danger in this fight is the ref.

  18. Ultimo Santa says:

    It’s official.

    FightOpinion = Sherdog

    This is just depressing.

    I’ll check back sometime in 2009 and hopefully by then, sad jokes like kelvin, jr and cyph will have migrated their comments over to the forum where they’re more well suited.

    Zach, keep up the good work, and the daily posts are awesome as always.

    Peace out.

  19. Zack says:

    Cro Cop won round 1 of the Kongo fight.

    “This is insane. Barnett refused the Fedor fight in 2006 because he fought a total of SEVEN TIMES that year, including two fights against Nog and one against CroCop.”

    Not to nitpick, but they wanted him to fight Fedor on NYE…Barnett took the 2nd Nog fight instead.

  20. Zack says:

    LOL @ the XPW talk…one of my friends worked for them. I only went to one show at the Olympic though, and it was pretty bad. I was also at the ECW show when some of the wrestlers tried to spoil the main event.

    Best XPW memory was at some party at the Viper room in Hollywood I saw New Jack punch a guy with the hand he was holding a beer mug with…like the beer mug was a pair of brass knuckles.

  21. […] Barnett has been a perfect 3-0 since the demise of PRIDE, and last competed at Affliction’s "Banned" show in July, where he scored a second-round knockout of Pedro Rizzo. Personally, I’m happy to see Barnett fighting any legitimate opponent — and if he can punish Yvel for all his bad in-ring behavior, even better — but if you’re interested in the opposing viewpoint, Fight Opinion has four reasons why this matchup is "worthless." […]

  22. samscaff says:

    cyph Says:

    “There was a two year stretch that made many doubt if he [Fedor] was the top heavyweight in the world.”

    Yeah, and those were people like you. And you were wrong! People like me didn’t doubt that he was the top HW in the world, and we were right. How is this you defending yourself? It should be you accepting that you have bad judgement.

  23. cyph says:

    Ultimo is right. FightOpinion has become Sherdog. A place where differing opinions get stifled and people get throw personal attacks because of said disagreements.

    Perhaps I should head back to BloodyElbow where people still appreciate a differing of opinions. People need to understand that these kinds of arguments is what serve to pull in traffic to blogs such as these. If I’m going to be flamed for giving out my opinions, I have no problem going somewhere more civil. The Sherdog mentality has truly taken over here at FightOpinion.

    Thanks to Gaijin for being civil and contributing to the discussion. I hope you get your account of at BE.

  24. samscaff says:

    Good riddance!

  25. samscaff says:

    And for the record, in the past five years, Josh Barnett has fought 2 K1 World Grand Prix Champions, 2 Judo gold medalists, all-time legend Big Nog multiple times, top-5 fighter Crocop mutliple times, top contender Aleks Emelianenko, and a guy coming right off a UFC title shot (Monson).

    Now keep in mind, in order to evaluate the level of competition a fighter has faced, we can only judge them by their ranking at the time of the fight.

    And that includes a two-year layoff following the end of Pride FC, which was completely out of his control.

    Lots of people bash opponents like Pavel Nastula, Hidehiko Yoshida, and Mark Hunt, but these are true veterans of the fight game. True legends of their respective disciplines. As much as you people want to deny it, Nastula and Hunt in particular were some of the best newcomers that MMA has ever seen. In their first few fights, they fought more talent than most fighters ever see in their career. And both performed admirably, even if they lost. People who shit on these types of opponents simply dont have proper respect or knowledge of the game.


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