Evan Tanner: A Fallen Champion

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Updated: September 18, 2007

evan tanner

Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner released a statement on his personal website, discussing his personal decline in his bout with alcohol. Tanner won the Ultimate Fighting Championship title against David Terrell at UFC 51, only to loss it in his next fight to Rich Franklin.

I have not been training at all, despite what the rumors say. I’ve signed no fights. I’m so far gone, living on the road, drinking myself into oblivion, that in moments of weakness, I wonder if I can make it back. It’s going to be a long road. I started drinking heavily, long before fighting was even a thought in my head. There was a definite reason I began. There was a method to my madness with good purpose. I’ll tell that story later.

Tanner was rumored to be fighting Dean Lister in December, but it looks to be just a rumor.

I’ve been on the road for almost two years. I’m tired. I’m tired of drinking, I’m tired of living out of bags, I’m tired of not feeling home. And where is home? I imagine being in the gym again. I imagine stepping into the Octagon again, and in some strange way, those thoughts bring me comfort. That is my home. I know it’s time to come home.

I never wanted to be a fighter. I never dreamed of it. Those I most respected were men of peace. Despite what the general public thinks, I don’t train full time or year round. I never have. Throughout my career, if you wish to call it that, I have been a heavy drinker. I’ve only trained for a month or two at a time when I sign a fight. Sometimes I’ve put down the alcohol, sometimes I haven’t. I think the fights where I haven’t are obvious.

I keep having this idea of what I could do, what I could be if I put put the vices aside and dedicated myself to the sport. I’ve been obsessed with the idea lately. It’s funny. A friend told me I was doing Wing Chun in my sleep, lying there, working techniques. The next night I was throwing elbows and knees. I take it as a sign.

All that has been on my mind is getting back in the gym. As soon as I can take care of the boat, that is where I will be.

One Comment

  1. crynot

    September 18, 2007 at 8:08 am

    Yikes! Not what you'd expect to read from a former champ. I hope he gets some help and makes a comeback.

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