Following his impressive and quick victory over former champ “Shogun” Rua in August, Chael Sonnen could be a win away from entering the UFC’s top five rankings at light-heavyweight, provided he wins at UFC 167 Saturday. The reason being, of course, that he’ll take on another former champ and the division’s #4 ranked Rashad Evans. “The American Gangsta” is currently ranked #7 at 205.
There’s no question that it’s a big fight for Sonnen as well as his opponent Evans, who is looking to build on the split decision win he scored over Dan Henderson in June. While there’s a lot riding on the bout, Evans questions whether Sonnen might be focusing too much on his commentating duties with FOX Sports, rather than what will go down Saturday in the Octagon. While speaking on the latest edition of “The MMA Hour”, here is some of what Evans had to say (comments via MMA Fighting.com):
“I definitely don’t think he’s really focused on where he needs to be, and that’s coming from my point of view,” Evans said. “My point of view is I couldn’t do it just for the mindset of, when you’re doing those shows — and he’s a natural, he’s really good at it — there’s a lot of prep work that goes into it. You got to know the names of the fighters, you’ve got to know a lot of things about the fighters just to be able to have a casual conversation and know what they heck you’re talking about when it’s time to.
“So, for him to still be doing it, it doesn’t seem like he’s putting that kind of focus that you need to be training at a high level. Maybe something to stay in shape and casually train, but to train for a fight?”
Chances are that Sonnen would totally disagree with Evans on this, and one would think he would have stepped back from his commentating duties if they were hindering his training. Then again, the bright TV spotlights have a way of drawing people in…
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