By Evan Stoumbelis
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans is slated to fight Chael Sonnen this Saturday at UFC 167. Evans spoke on The MMA Hour to host Ariel Helwani about the distractions Sonnen is facing going into the bout, mainly his consistent presence on Fox Sports 1’s UFC tonight.
“I definitely don’t think he’s really focused on where he needs to be, and that’s coming from my point of view, 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?”
For those who don’t know Sonnen got married before his last bout in August, and also moved his training camp from Team Quest in Portland Oregon to Reign MMA in Los Angeles, a city with plenty of distractions of its own.
“It could definitely work against him. I don’t want to right now sit here and write the script of what his mindset is going to be like, because you really never know about anybody’s mindset and what goes into having them compete. I can say for me, myself, it would definitely take a little bit off. Because it’s hard. 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 is coming off a first round submission win over Shogun Rua in August. Whereas Evans is coming off a decision win over Dan Henderson in June. The two are set to face off this Saturday at UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks in Las Vegas.