Love him or hate him, it's tough to question the toughness of three-time UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen.
"The American Gangster" has showcased on many occasions his willingness to fight elite competition on just days notice, but the news breaking on Wednesday puts things into a new perspective.
In a video preview for an interview with TSN's Michael Landsberg, which will run at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, Sonnen all but admits he had emergency surgery to have a piece of his colon removed on Nov. 15—just 24 hours before his light heavyweight clash with Rashad Evans at UFC 167. Sonnen said:
I would say this: I don't make excuses before fights or after fights, and if I had anything to deal with, I'll deal with it. But when it's time to fight, I'll walk out there and fight ... It's a little bit of a surprise that you had that information. Look here's the bottom line: 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. 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.
Many fans and analysts were surprised with how poorly Sonnen performed at UFC 167, having no answers for Evans' top control and ground-and-pound once the fight hit the mat in the first round.
However, given the latest development surrounding the Team Reign Training Center fighter's physical health heading into that bout, perhaps the boisterous 36-year-old deserves a little leeway.
Sonnen is 3-4 in his past seven bouts and will face former Pride champ Wanderlei Silva after they wrap up Season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter, in which they will head coach opposite one another.
Former long-time middleweight champion Anderson Silva was invited to be an assistant coach on former rival Sonnen's team but declined the offer since he would not be in Brazil during the time of filming, according to MMA Fighting.
Neither Evans nor Sonnen have publicly commented on the matter since the TSN video preview was released.