How Chael Sonnen Became Less Of An A-hole (Literally) The Day Before UFC 167

If you watched Chael Sonnen’s fight against Rashad Evans back at UFC 167, you may remember Sonnen rolling over onto his stomach and tapping out to end what Joe Rogan called “a mauling.” It wasn’t Chael’s finest moment — that’s still the time he found a soulmate in The Iron Sheik — but a report from TSN may explain that.

Y’see, it turns out Chael Sonnen had major surgery a day before the fight. Colon surgery. He had large portions of his colon removed and then stepped into the octagon against Evans.

Wait, what?

UFC fighter Chael Sonnen had several inches of his colon removed during emergency surgery on Nov. 15 – one day before his first-round loss to Rashad Evans at UFC 167.

Sonnen confirmed that he had the procedure during a taping of TSN’s Off The Record on Wednesday, after host Michael Landsberg revealed that a source told him about it.

“When I sign a contract to fight, I’m agreeing to fight a guy on a certain day at a certain time and in a certain venue,” he continued. “It’s my job to feel good when I go out and do it and if I don’t that may play a hand in the fight.” (via TSN)

I’m guessing you read that and had one of two reactions:

1. “Wow, that’s really impressive. I can’t believe he was gutsy enough to fight a man so quickly after having surgery. Ha, gutsy. That’s pretty funny.” Or:

If number one is true, bad jokes aside, Sonnen is insane in both the good and bad ways for going through with a fight after missing chunks of his body. Absolutely insane. He should be commended for it, I guess, and UFC should probably institute a policy excusing guys from their professional obligations if they have to have their colon scooped out.

“But Brandon,” you might be typing. “They already have that. Everybody has that.” That’s where #2 comes in. The update via Cage Potato:

Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director, Keith Kizer has called bullshit. “I checked with the UFC. They verified with Chael and his team that he did not have any surgery prior to the Rashad Evans fight. According to Chael, the interviewer asked him a question and Chael, coyly, didn’t answer him directly as the article clearly states, and the interviewer inferred that the answer to his question was in the affirmative.”

So! Is Chael Sonnen making excuses? Is he coyly making excuses so the media will make the excuse FOR him, and if people believe it he can roll with it, and if they don’t he can say he was misquoted? Important follow-up question: why should we ever believe anything he says?