Canadian sporting news outlet TSN released a teaser of an upcoming interview with Chael Sonnen yesterday along with an article headlined "Sonnen confirms he had colon surgery prior to UFC 167." The article caused the sort of reaction one would expect across the MMA landscape. Either Sonnen was lying to set up a sort of excuse for his lopsided loss to Rashad Evans -- the fourth time Chael had been stopped in his last seven fights -- or he was incredibly tough for sticking to the fight, though there are obvious safety concerns that would have to be addressed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
There was, however, a third option. That TSN had engaged in spectacularly shoddy journalism.
That did seem to be a likely possibility when the article suddenly had it's headline changed to "Source: Sonnen had colon surgery prior to UFC 167."
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.
What TSN did was inexcusable as far as reporting something being said that was not -- a simple "Sonnen does not deny report of colon surgery prior to UFC 167" would have generated the same buzz while being an honest representation of the interview. But I'll never understand Sonnen's desire to bullshit every chance possible.
Assuming that there isn't some sort of double secret surgery that took place -- and one wouldn't expect the man to have looked as good as he did on the scales at the weigh in right after colon surgery -- why be "coy" about the question? It's the same as all of the "I never signed a contract to fight Anderson Silva" stuff that was plainly and provably false. Just saying things to sound good in the media seems like a fool's game. But give the way a huge portion of the media and fanbase eats it up, at least he's not playing alone.