UFC News: Former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner Found Dead


Former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner found dead in the California desert.

He apparently texted a friend last Wednesday saying he had run out of water, that was the last anyone heard from the former champion. After his disappearance was reported on Friday, a massive search of the area was conducted, which ended when his body was found yesterday.

The 37 year old fighter blogged last month about “treasure hunting and lost gold, and my own insatiable appetite for adventure and exploration…..I plan on going so deep into the desert, that any failure of my equipment could cost me my life.”

via CagePotato:

Hayner said that Tanner had gone into the desert on a motorcycle expedition and had run out of gas. Tanner was attempting to walk out of the desert, Hayner said, but apparently didn’t realize how far away from civilization he was and died of exposure in the triple-digit heat. Tanner’s empty campsite was spotted Sunday, and an aerial search located his body earlier this afternoon.

Evan Tanner a unique spirit and true champion will indeed be missed.

CageToday.com would like to express our condolences to his family and loved ones.


  1. Jake

    September 8, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    I admire Tanner. He always did things the way he wanted without giving a crap about what anyone else thought. He had the warrior spirit inside and outside the cage.

    Rest In Peace Mr. Tanner you deserve it.

  2. jbraytown

    September 8, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Rest In Peace Evan the MMA world will not ne the same without you…..


    September 8, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    he had the balls to live life on his own terms, if you didnt like him you could still respect that. if the world had more people like evan tanner it would be a much better place.

  4. Genno

    September 8, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    A huge loss for the MMA world. Evan Tanner was a incredible fighter.

  5. Thomas

    September 8, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Dude had brass ones.

  6. steve

    September 8, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Crazy but he battled depression a lot I guess from what I gather from his blogs. Sucks to see someone die but shit happens and we all die.


    September 8, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    RIP …… Now travel the after world!!!

  8. naco21

    September 9, 2008 at 12:01 am

    RIP Evan…we will all miss you.

  9. Nalla

    September 9, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Tragedy… Old [&] new school in one. Rest in Peace fella. You will be sorely missed.

  10. John

    September 9, 2008 at 12:30 am

    Wow, this is truly sad news. I loved watching him fight and I loved the things he did for other fighters. and it’s sad to see someone who’s given so much for MMA lose his life.

  11. tom

    September 9, 2008 at 12:46 am

    Rip evan Tanner… thats a crazy story up there and man i really liked tanner, he was a nice guy and he could fight well…

  12. Oswald Gobblecock

    September 9, 2008 at 1:25 am

    I wonder if UFC will do or say anything about this on their next show or something.

  13. roy

    September 9, 2008 at 1:38 am

    rip evan, thanks for all the great fights

  14. DanP

    September 9, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Thats fuckin’ tragic… He seemed like a really genuine bloke too


  15. dane drebin

    September 9, 2008 at 2:44 am

    evan tanner was one of my favorite fighters of all time he was such a bad dude and always gave his all in every fight.

    R I P

  16. Beez

    September 9, 2008 at 5:36 am

    He earned his wings. Go in peace brother

  17. Tim

    September 9, 2008 at 5:42 am

    In no disrespect but the man was stupid and his friends were even more stupid for agreeing with that…i understand the situation but we lossed a great fighter and a good guy becasue of this. Oh well no sense in talking about it. Its over and one. May god be with him.

  18. red

    September 9, 2008 at 5:54 am

    i think he planned it.

  19. kom34

    September 9, 2008 at 6:50 am

    i was hoping he would cope with demons with alcohol and depression and return to old form in the cage. real loss to the mma world as far as losing a warrior spirit. RIP brother.

  20. Nichole Lesniak

    September 9, 2008 at 6:56 am

    If you read other articles about what he was doing, it was clear this wasn't planned.

  21. Tim

    September 9, 2008 at 7:57 am

    In my personal opinion i didnt see this coming but this could of been stopped.

  22. roy

    September 9, 2008 at 8:07 am

    tim do you real know anything about what happened?if you don't know him or his friends maybe you shouldn't speculate.

  23. Tim

    September 9, 2008 at 8:31 am

    Well i am not but looking back into what was told, if one of my friends told me this i would sure as hell be on the look out and i am sure they were as they said thats why they called the authorities is because Tanner said if know one heard from him in 2 days to send a search party so they did…puts both parties in a bind and sucks either way but some could speculate that this could of been stopped but know of is at fault for this just Tanner himself and the damn dessert but such a sad loss to all.

  24. Ryan S

    September 9, 2008 at 8:41 am

    I wouldn't say his friends or family are stupid for this. He kept his cell phone with him, so they probably figured if he was in trouble, he could call. He probably thought the same thing. I understand completely what he did, and he didn't intend to die. I would love to take a trip like this myself, only I'd rather do it in the mountains.

    Either way, MMA won't be the same and he has many, many fans that will miss him, including me. My thoughts go out to his family and may he rest in peace.

  25. Tim

    September 9, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Well i agree but anyone is stupid for going out into the dessert alone..but then again had a cell phone and i would never do this alone maybe with a guide of some sort. oh well he will be missed. sad news.

  26. roy

    September 9, 2008 at 8:51 am

    tim maybe you should just leave it alone, you should not go alone in the desert but maybe thats what he was about taking adventures, if he had died in the ring witch can happen would you say he and his friends where stupid for letting him go in the ring.

  27. Scott

    September 9, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Everything is speculation from this point…..yeah he had done this kind of thing before, but it does seem a bit odd to venture out alone like that…..if I wanted to get away, I wouldn't be too far from people and civilization, probably to some city in another state. My hope and prayers go out to his family and friends, he will be remembered and he will be missed.

  28. Businessman

    September 9, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    I don't think his friends and family were stupid but if my brother, cousin, or friend suffered from depression, had bouts with alcohol, etc, I don't think I would let him go into the desert alone for ANY period of time. I don't criticize them or him, but this did not have to happen. Second guessing is so easy now but there were signs of trouble.

    When I first read about him going, I felt something bad may happen. I can sometime be negative or at least worry about the possibilities, so I just attributed it to that…so when I found out, I had chills go up my spine.

    May God bless him. I don't know him but he seemed lost, like he could not find his place. He is in a better place now! RIP

  29. Bowhunter

    September 9, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    What is with these people that say they blame his family and friends?. He was a grown man, it's not like anybody could of said " No I'm not allowing you to go into the desert" or any where else for that matter. You can't shadow somebody night and day. His family and friends are going to be having a hard enough time right now as it is without reading crap like that.

    RIP Evan you'll be missed.

  30. YC

    September 9, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Great fighter, even better person, enough said.

    RIP Tanner you'll be missed.

  31. Tim

    September 10, 2008 at 12:37 am

    Dying in the ring is one thing at least your in front of people doing what he loved to do. Going out in the desert alone was sort of stupid there isnt anyone around who can save you…maybe that was his intention there were signs as others have said but who knows the truth. It doesnt really matter we lost a great fighter and someone that will be missed. Enough talking about the dead let him RIP.

  32. roy

    September 10, 2008 at 2:20 am

    there is a petition going around to have him inducted into the ufc hall of fame if you would like to sign it here it is.


  33. Fedor's BANNED

    September 10, 2008 at 7:49 am

    RIP, champ. So sorry to see you go at your prime… :(

  34. Mike

    September 10, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Blah, blah blah…..who gives a shit. My suggestion would be as follows:

    1. Stay on the topic of the discussion.

    2. Learn proper spelling and grammar.

    3. Refer to the above two items as needed.

  35. STEVEO

    September 10, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Wow Mike, you don't give a shit about a fighter dying, or just a person dying, and I see your a member of the spelling police, AWESOME!!! YOUR SO COOL DUDE!!!

  36. naco21

    September 11, 2008 at 12:28 am

    How about on this discussion we all ignore dumb shits like Mike…RIP Evan.

  37. Mike

    September 11, 2008 at 4:18 am

    No, I don't give a shit about Evan Tanner dying. What I do give a shit about is trying to read intelligent posts and having to filter through all of the illiterate ramblings and "school girl" arguments by dipshits that lack originality. Grown men who name themselves shit like STEVEO or RAMBO or DUDLEY1.

    You even have some jackasses here STEVEO that claim his family and friends may be to blame. Give me a fucking break! He was a manic depressive alcoholic who happened to be an MMA fighter, wandered off into the desert and died. Yet the blind leading the blind praise him as though he were America's first son.

    Was Evan Tanner a good fighter? Yes, he was. Was Evan Tanner trying to revive a dead career? Yes, he was. Do I give a shit that he was mentally unstable, depressed or an alcoholic? No, I don't. I have no emotional ties to anyone except my family. If my son dies, I'm upset. If you, the news guy, the girl bagging my groceries or some other random fucking stranger dies….who gives a shit.

  38. STEVEO

    September 11, 2008 at 5:49 am

    actually my name is steve and there was a guy on here that posts quite frequently so rather than going with something ridiculous i actually just added an o to my name, my uncle calls me that, wow real ridiculous. Also if your trying to wade through all the stupid posts and your on here bashing a guy who just died. I mean so what a few thousand people died in a crumbling burning building a few years ago cuz some terrorist crashed a plane, who gives a shit i mean fuck it was just there bad luck. YES IT IS THE SAME THING YOU DICK just a larger scale. You don't know how he died and I strongly doubt you knew him personally so its fair to say you don't have a god damn clue what your talking about, and if someone on here wants to give me shit about "being a grown man" he better not be the one bashing on a man who just died an untimely death, he may not have been a perfect person but I doubt that you are either.

  39. roy

    September 11, 2008 at 6:06 am

    fuck mike, steveo don't even bother responding to that idiot so he will just go away or just tell him to fuck off everytime you see his weak ass post.your talking shit about peoples posts mike have you put one thing up regaurding mma or worth reading? no know go f-off.

  40. roy

    September 11, 2008 at 6:06 am

    fuck mike, steveo don't even bother responding to that idiot so he will just go away or just tell him to fuck off everytime you see his weak ass post.your talking shit about peoples posts mike have you put one thing up regaurding mma or worth reading? no now go f-off.

  41. Ryan S

    September 11, 2008 at 7:29 am

    Mike, why comment if you don't care? You're a closet Tanner fan, aren't you? It's ok, probably everyone on this thread is a Tanner fan. Come out of the closet

  42. Mike

    September 11, 2008 at 7:45 am

    You got me Ryan S! I never said I didn't like Tanner. I simply got sick of reading all the blah,blah why he did this and speculation on who was responsible for that.

    I appreciate your response. You came with comedic flare! As far as bringing in the 9/11 thing….weak and presumable there Steve….O.

    As bored as I was with the "theories" section….so have I become with this. Have a great day!

  43. roy

    September 11, 2008 at 8:30 am

    mike you should look at your own post the very first thing you put as #1 than and follow your own advise.

  44. Ryan S

    September 11, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Mike, I'm not gonna lie, I kinda like you.

  45. Mike

    September 11, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Ryan S i am not goin to lie either i have been thinking of you since i first came to this site, where do you live at?Hey maybe we could get together sometime?I promise you won't regret it.Talk to you soon.

  46. Mike

    September 11, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Kudos to you! Now that is funny shit!….whoever wrote the above response from "me", my hat is off to you.

    I let my wife read the last several posts and, though I hate to admit it, she agrees with Steve……O!

    I admit that I am an emotional void when it comes to life, death and cruelty (unless it involves children or animals)!

    For the most part the suffering of grown men means little to me. I have seen more human suffering than I would wish on any person.

    I care only about those close to me and perhaps that is considered a character flaw by many….but not something I can apologize for…it's who I am!

    I certainly mean Evan Tanner's family no disrespect with the brutal honesty of my apathy or oppinion. I'm quite sure they aren't frequenting the billions of forums on the billions of websites reading posts about Evan by Mike or Steve……O!

    I must admit though, the guy who masterminded the homo-erotic post above from "mike"…..beautifully done! I bow to you and bow out of this conflict….beaten.

    Kudos to you!

  47. Ryan S

    September 11, 2008 at 10:52 am

    I actually didn't mean it that way. I actually meant that I like how Mike handled it and how he fired back at me. But rock on anyway I guess. Now, back to the subject…

  48. Mike

    September 11, 2008 at 11:18 am

    The only thing that I don't get is why in todays world with all of the satellite equipment, such as the new handheld emergency tracking device that recently came out, why a guy would venture out without one. I, of all people, understand challenging oneself to the fullest extent, but always have a good back up plan. He was an inteligent guy, he proved that with his fight strategies.

    Perhaps his mind set was an all or nothing one. Do or die, for lack of a better term. Fighting demons, be they alcohol, memories or whatever your sin can tarnish one's luster for living and make that line between life and death a fuzzy one at best.

    Even the most conditioned thrill seeking athlete can succumb to heat related illness/ death at the temperature range he was in. I have seen temperature extremes in both directions and could barely handle them in my twenties. Evan and I are/were the same age now and I could not imagine being back in the desert environment again at this age….it has to be tougher.

    Who knows, maybe he finally beat whatever demon that he was battling, or maybe he just plain miscalculated his supplies….we may never know.

  49. kom34

    September 11, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    first of all, respect to the warrior evan tanner. all i know is he lived life his own way and weather he meant to make it hard or easy on himself in the end…he was a fighter. in all aspects. i get what he did and i'm just sorry he didn't make it through.

  50. Morey

    September 11, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Tanner was such an old soul. He spoke about real things. I know that most of his interviews weren't aired because it is philosophy or what some people would call hippy. But I can see where he came from. He wanted to win the belt again becuause he thought people wouldn't hear his words unless he did that. I guess he though that this is what he had to do to make people listen to his words.

  51. mike

    September 14, 2008 at 1:08 am

  52. Nichole Lesniak

    September 14, 2008 at 1:39 am

    Has anyone watched the tribute video on UFC's website. It's pretty good. More proof that this is a terrible loss.

  53. megamega

    October 22, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Looking To Grow Your Myspace List?

    in: http://tinyurl.com/5z7h8m

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