Gilbert Yvel moved one step closer to receiving clearance for a proposed featured heavyweight encounter against Josh Barnett during Affliction’s Day of Reckoning” on January 24 after the California State Athletic Commission ruled Tuesday that Yvel has been approved to apply for a license in the state. learned of the development late Tuesday night from a source speaking on the condition of anonymity. The site has since confirmed the news with both Bill Douglas, CSAC’s Assistant Executive Officer, and Steve Bash, the Vice President of Legal Affairs for M-1 Global.

“Gilbert Yvel has been approved to ‘submit’ his application for license to the State of California,” Douglas said in e-mail response for comment. “However, he must fully meet all licensing requirements, as would any applicant, before ‘approval’ is granted. Once ‘approval’ is granted, the rest is up to Gilbert to prove that he is a professional in every sense of the word.”

“We felt the California was fair, unbiased, and democratic in hearing Gilbert’s case,” Bash told “We are confident that once Gilbert completes the licensing process that he will compete with honor against Josh Barnett during Affliction’s ‘Day of Reckoning’ on January 24.”

With the ruling, Yvel still needs to pass several requirements before he is formally approved for a license to compete in the state. Such tests he will need to pass include a blood test, an MRI, and several other medicals.

The 32-year old veteran is 35-12-1 with notable victories over Semmy Schilt, Kiyoshi Tamura, Tsuyoshi Koshaka, Cheick Kongo, and Gary Goodridge. While gaining great notoriety during his tenure competing for the PRIDE Fighting Championships in Japan, Yvel also earned a bad reputation following several instances of unsportsmanlike conduct during an MMA career that began in 1997.

During a fight with Atte Backman in November of 2004, Yvel was disqualified after he knocked the referee down and subsequently kicked him as he lay on the mat. The Dutch fighter was also disqualified in 1997 after biting opponent Karimula Barkalaev and again in 2001 during PRIDE 16 after raking Don Frye’s face with his fingers.

Yvel’s indiscretions in the ring also prevented a planned bout at PRIDE 33 in 2007 from taking place against Sergei Kharitonov after the Nevada State Athletic Commission refused to grant him a license for the event.