Chances are, if you asked someone the day after UFC 159 whether Chael Sonnen would be a factor at 205 by November, the answer would have been no. After all, “The American Gangster” was quickly taken out by Jon Jones on April 27th, and many believed his best performances remained at 185 (even if he’s been defeated by Anderson Silva twice).
Of course, here we are several months later, and not only did Sonnen score a victory over “Shogun” Rua in August, but he could defeat another former champ in Rashad Evans at UFC 167. If Sonnen wins Saturday night, the charismatic fighter could very well move into the top five rankings of the division. While there’s a lot riding on the fight as a result, Evans isn’t certain that Sonnen’s entirely focused on the bout. While speaking on the latest edition of “The MMA Hour”, “Suga” had this to say about Sonnen, who has continued to commentate for FOX Sports heading into Saturday’s scrap (quotes 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?”
Evans also noted that Sonnen moved his camp to the renowned Reign facility in L.A., which could also affect his focus on the fight. Guess we’ll find out in just a few days.
UFC 167 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will feature welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre taking on Johny Hendricks in the main event.
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