According to VP of Affliction Entertainment Tom Atencio, the winner of the Pedro Rizzo (16-9) vs. Gilbert Yvel (36-13-1) fight at this past weekend’s “Ultimate Chaos” event was to be rewarded with a fight against Paul Buentello (27-10) at “Affliction: Trilogy” on Aug. 1.
Yvel ended up defeating Rizzo on Sat., June 27, in dramatic knockout fashion that left the former UFC heavyweight contender unconscious on the canvas just 2:10 into the first round. Yvel confirmed in his post-fight interview that he indeed would now be facing Buentello.
Buentello was originally scheduled to face former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia at the “Trilogy” event. However, Sylvia was pulled from the fight for precautionary reasons after he received a brutal knockout at the hands of professional boxer Ray “Merciless” Mercer.
Yvel considers himself fortunate to get the shot at Buentello. “It’s my way back to the top,” he told a reporter after the fight. Yvel said he will take a week off to celebrate and then it is back to the gym to prepare for the Aug. 1 bout.
He also plans to study some tape on the dangerous striker, “I’ve got to check him out, because I just saw him one time fighting. So I don’t know a lot about Paul Buentello.” That one time was probably when the two fought on the same card at “Affliction: Day of Reckoning” back in January of this year.
It was Yvel’s last bout (prior to Rizzo) and he gave up a third round submission due to strikes to Josh Barnett. It was also Buentello’s most recent bout; he defeated “Baby Fedor,” Kirill Sidelnikov, with a third round TKO.
Yvel let it be known his ultimate goal is to become the UFC Heavyweight Champion but realizes it will take time, “What I said is what I want… Of course if you be the UFC champion, you be the big champion. And I think, I know I’ve got a big road for me still to come. That’s my dream, I want to do that, so let’s see, let’s see what’s going to happen.”
Gilbert Yvel is a hand full for anyone, and a nightmare for most. Not a single one of the 237-pound heavyweight’s 35 pro MMA victories have gone the distance. He has finished every opponent he has beaten, all 35 of them. That is damn impressive.
With Yvel’s 30 (T)KOs out of 35 wins, and Buentello’s 17 (T)KOs out of 27 wins, it is almost guaranteed this fight will be a stand-up war. Most likely it will not get out of round one, but most certainly will not go to decision.
By: Jack Bratcher