Morning Report: Did Chael Sonnen undergo surgery the day before fighting Rashad Evans at UFC 167? Keith Kizer responds.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

When news that Chael Sonnen had possibly undergone some sort of operation the day before facing former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans at UFC 167, fans were left scratching their heads.

In an interview with TSN's Off the Record, host Michael Landsberg claimed to be 'hearing a story' that Sonnen underwent surgery to remove a section of his bowel just prior to his bout with Evans. Sidestepping Landsberg's demand that he confirm or deny the story, Sonnen seemed caught off guard given his response.

"I don't make excuses before fights or after fights," said Sonnen. "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."

Sonnen, who suffered a loss to Evans via first-round TKO, attributed his poor performance to being undersized at light heavyweight.

"It's a little bit of a surprise that you had that information," Sonnen continued. "Here's the bottom line. When I sign a contract to fight I'm agreeing to fight a guy on a certain day and at a certain time and at 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. But I don't like these guy who come up with excuses, particularly after the fact, and I'm damn sure not one of them."

At the time, Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director, Keith Kizer seemed as shocked as anyone upon hearing the story, telling Deadspin:

"We were never informed of any such surgery, if it even occurred," said Keith Kizer, who runs the NSAC. "I just checked with [UFC vice-president] Marc Ratner, and he said he hadn't heard of anything like that.

"It's not uncommon," he added, "for fighters to make excuses up after they get beat up in competition. I hope that's what this is. I don't know, I plan to find out."

Later Wednesday evening, Kizer released a second statement to Deadspin:

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.

Now we're simply left wondering why Sonnen didn't deny the report and where Landsberg got it to begin with. We've heard of fighters omitting certain nagging injuries on commission medical screenings, but this would be something entirely unique. Strange to say the least.

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A whole new world. With Georges St-Pierre out of the picture, welterweights like Tarec Saffiedine see the division opening up. "The welterweight division is so stacked, so many great fighters, and all the Top 10 are really tough. It's not easy to get a title shot, but I'm looking forward to that challenge."

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MEDIA STEW

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(via @pedromfdo)

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Random MMA:

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Long watches. This is something I'm playing with since not everyone can handle the longer videos. If you've got the time, check these out:

"Old School MMA Review" UFC 8 - The David VS Goliath Tournament

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TWEETS

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Harassing Dana works.

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Wishful thinking.

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Congrats.

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For who?

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Beefin'

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They're called Hobbit Holes ... I think.

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Always looking up.

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He gets around.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Dec. 18 2013)

John Lineker vs. Ali Bagautinov at UFC 169

Stephen Thompson vs. Robert Whittaker at UFC 170

Darrell Montague vs. Will Campuzano at UFC 171

Raphael Assuncao vs. Francisco Rivera at UFC 170

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via heavyfl0w.

The MMA Movement's 2013 Year End Awards (Submissions)

2013. A hell of a year in MMA. It's time for my annual recap! We'll tackle submissions first. Enjoy, and if you do, tell a friend and share the love. Happy holidays!

Also, stay tuned for my KO's and fights of the year pieces in the next week or so. Thanks for reading!

http://mma-movement.com/the-mma-movements-2013-year-end-awards-submissions/

Good googly moogly. We're here already? It never ceases to amaze me how quickly every year seems to end after Halloween. You're back at the house, watching your little kids frolic in a sea of diabetes, and the next thing you know, you're wrapping presents and wondering if there are any bars open on Christmas.

What a year 2013 has been. This was the year that officially made me feel like I don't know anything anymore. There were several bad judges decisions that were universally seen as bad. But there were also a few that I thought were terrible and NOBODY agreed with me (with Kyung Ho Kang-Chico Camus and GSP-Hendricks being two that I can think of off the top of my head). The problem is, I didn't have anyone to argue with, because none of my friends are into MMA anymore. So, why not spew my arguments out at the internet? Those were bad decisions, internet! Also, Anderson Silva got knocked the hell out. That, too.

Check out the rest of the post here.

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Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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