Gilbert Yvel, the prolific Dutch veteran known as much for his erratic personality as his accomplishments in the cage, has announced his retirement from MMA.
Yvel, 37, broke the news Saturday via Germany's Ground and Pound TV (h/t to MMAFighting's Luke Thomas). If he is indeed finished, he ends his pro career on a two-fight win streak and with a total record of 38-16-1 (1).
"I'm pretty much done," Yvel said in the interview. "I've been fighting for the last 16 years...I didn't fight for a whole year, and then I was just done with the whole thing. I don't want to do it anymore."
Yvel last stepped under the lights in March 2012 for the Resurrection Fighting Alliance promotion. In that fight, part of RFA's second event, he took a first-round knockout win over fellow UFC veteran Houston Alexander. Yvel also took part in RFA 1 in December 2011, earning a TKO win over Damian Dantibo in his light heavyweight debut.
In the interview Saturday, Yvel said he now will work as a trainer at Agoge MMA in Dusseldorf, Germany. He also acknowledged some of the strange and alarming early-career incidents that earned him notoriety beyond his vicious Muay Thai fighting style. He took three disqualification defeats in his career, including one in 1998 for biting his opponent and another in 2004 for knocking out a referee during a fight.
"We were all young and stupid," Yvel said. "I always had the misfortune that there was a camera nearby...In Japan, there were always yellow cards [issued as warnings for discipline]. So I said 'let me get a big yellow card for myself. OK, I will be the bad guy.'"
Gilbert Yvel: Hall of Fame?
Yvel, who spent most of his career at heavyweight, made his pro MMA debut back in 1997. He fought under more than 15 different promotional banners, including the UFC, Pride, Rings and Affliction.