Former UFC Champ Found Dead

1213976440565 Former UFC Champ Found Dead 

Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner was found dead in a national park near San Diego.  Early reports suggests he died of heat exposure after getting lost in the desert like area. 

Being a hardcore MMA fan, I was really sad and upset about the news.  Tanner was already fighting in the UFC during the “dark” days when the event wasn’t shown on pay per view.  He fought Tito Ortiz for the light heavyweight belt, only to be slammed and knocked out.  After the loss, he moved down to middleweight and went on a tear.  Highlights include beating Phil Baroni twice and Dave Terrell for the belt.  Tanner’s major accomplishment in the UFC lead to his downfall, where he lost the next 4 of his last 5 fights.  After losing his first title defense against Rich Franklin, he became depressed and also became a drunk.  He went on motorcycle trips to “find” himself again.  He even invited his fans on myspace to join his trips. 

Tanner was never the same after losing his belt.  Even after he got new trainers and managers, he looked weaker and slower.  It seemed like he knew he would not get the belt again and could not accept it.  In his last fight against Kendall Grove, I was rooting badly for him to get the win and getting back on the right track.  He almost pulled it off but in the end, the judges made the right decision and gave it to Grove.  Afterwards Joe Rogan interviewed Tanner. I felt sorry for him.  Tanner sounded like he had no more future and didn’t know where to go with his life. 

He was always nice to his fans and very down to earth.  He was also self-taught in MMA.  He read books and watched videos from the professional fighters and practiced with his buddies.  Tanner accomplished a lot for a guy who had no professional trainers to supervise him.  Many fans were worried about his latest venture into the desert terrain and posted their thoughts on Sherdog’s forums.  I personally thought he would be fine since he had done it so many times.  Hopefully he found his inner peace.  More information about his death can be found on Sherdog

RIP Evan Tanner

pixel Former UFC Champ Found Dead

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