It’s news to Gilbert Yvel that he’s the favorite in his fight with Paul Buentello at Affliction “Trilogy.”
He doesn’t really care what Buentello or fans think, anyways. There’s always been a gap between what people say is going to happen and what does happen.
Buentello says he’s never shot for a takedown in his career and won’t start in August, but Yvel’s heard that one before.
“We’ll see about that,” Yvel told MMAWeekly.com. “Everybody says, ‘yeah, I’m just going to (stand) with you.’”
The Dutch striker is well resigned to the idea that a perfect opponent – which, based on history alone, Buentello appears to be – may never come.
“(My trainer) John Lewis says, ‘Gilbert, if I was the opponent’s trainer, I would just say, let’s try to take him down. His ground game’s not good… why be stupid and try to fight him on the feet?’” said Yvel.
Previous opponent Josh Barnett took that advice word-for-word and punished Yvel for three rounds with elbows and punches from mount. Yvel survived until the very end, tapping out in the final minutes of the fight.
Since moving to Las Vegas last year, Yvel has worked on his ground game with smaller wrestlers, adjusting himself to fast transitions on the mat. He still works with heavier guys, but likes getting a run for his money.
So while he’d like to showcase the “Hurricane,” he won’t be disappointed if he doesn’t appear.
“I’m just ready for everything,” said Yvel.
It’s the last week of hard work before tapering down, and he’s modified his cardiovascular training to facilitate a long fight. A quick knockout of Pedro Rizzo in June actually made things more difficult when he returned to the gym.
“The thing is, if you train for a fight, it’s building up and building up, and the moment the fight is there, you need to unload,” said Yvel. “My fight was so quick I didn’t get a chance to unload, so I probably unload two days before I go back to the gym again. So it was difficult for me to get the focus to train again. I had to really talk to myself: ‘c’mon, man, it’s time to go.’ But it’s okay now.”
He’s unimpressed with what Buentello brings to the table.
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