(Former champ Rashad Evans and Chael Sonnen discuss how they became close friends and how they are preparing to fight one another Saturday at UFC 167)
Rashad Evans and Chael Sonnen have both parlayed their fame as fighters and charisma to successful second careers as television analysts. They both regularly put on their suits and offer insight on UFC fight cards for television audiences.
Because he's got a fight on this Saturday's UFC 167 card, Evans has largely put that secondary career on hiatus as he prepares in training camp. His opponent at UFC 167, of course, is none other than Sonnen himself.
Sonnen has chosen to juggle his broadcast and fight careers simultaneously heading into Saturday's showdown against Evans and the former light heavyweight champion believes that "The American Gangster" will be at a disadvantage because of it. Sonnen now conducts his training camps out of the Southern California area instead of his home of Oregon, and has chosen to continue to fulfill his broadcast duties at night after he has trained during the day.
"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 recently told MMA Fighting in an interview.
"When you’re doing those shows - and [Sonnen is] a natural, he’s really good at it - there’s a lot of prep work that goes into it. You've 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?
"It could definitely work against him...He will have to be one seriously talented individual to go in there and juggle all those things on his plate and still come out and really fight the way he wants to fight. We’ll see on Saturday. But if that were me, that would be a really tall order, and it seems like he’s stacking the order against himself."
Sonnen and Rashad have become close friends through traveling and working together as television analysts. Do you think "Suga" is just trying to get in the head of his opponent by saying this or do you think that balancing being a commentator with preparing for a fight is indeed a bad idea for Sonnen to be attempting?
Let us know what you think in the comments section.
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- Sports & Recreation
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- Chael Sonnen
- Rashad Evans