(Good thinkin’, ref — give Pedro a few more seconds to wake up.)
A rumor that was reported in August then quickly debunked has been re-animated thanks to Tatame. According to Luis Dorea, boxing coach for UFC heavyweight contender Junior Dos Santos, "Cigano" will next step into the Octagon at UFC 108 (January 2, Las Vegas) against the Dirty Dutchman himself, Gilbert Yvel. Said Dorea: "We know Gilbert is a very strong guy, he likes to fight standing, but ‘Cigano’ is better in striking now. We’re doing our job and I know we’re gonna get the victory."
Yvel last competed at Ultimate Chaos: Lashley vs. Sapp in June, where he crushed Pedro Rizzo in the first round. If the Tatame report is accurate, Yvel would be coming in as a replacement for Gabriel Gonzaga, who recently went down with a staph infection. We wouldn’t exactly call Yvel a tough test for the ferocious and well-rounded Dos Santos at this point, but it does keep Junior busy against a credible opponent while the rest of the heavyweight division sorts itself out. Speaking of which, Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is definitely on for February in Australia — possibly for an interim heavyweight title — and Brock Lesnar is still in real bad shape.
After the jump: Yvel’s one-and-done head-kick KO of Gary Goodridge at PRIDE 10, and his May 2004 fight against Cheick Kongo.