Evan Tanner , former UFC middleweight champion, is no longer with us. He was found deceased Monday, September 8th near Palo Verde, California.
Tanner wrote often in his blogs on Myspace.com and Spike.com about taking trips into the wild to get his head straight and as he would put it, “cleanse himself”. He had expressed interest in taking another trip recently. Here is a portion of Tanner’s blog on Spike.com from August 16th, 2008.
“I’ve been gathering my gear for this adventure for over a month, not a long time by most standards, but far too long for my impatient nature. Being a minimalist by nature, wanting to carry only the essentials, and being extremely particular, it has been a little difficult to find just the right equipment. I plan on going so deep into the desert, that any failure of my equipment, could cost me my life. I’ve been doing a great deal of research and study. I want to know all I can about where I’m going, and I want to make sure I have the best equipment.
One more week. I think one more week, and I’ll be ready to go.”
Upon hearing of the extent of Tanner’s trip many of his fans expressed concern for his safety to which Tanner responded with this on August 27th, 2008.
“I’ve been sitting around this apartment, bored to tears, waiting on the last of the gear I need for the desert adventure to come in the mail. I’ve really been looking forward to getting out there. I’ve been writing about it a little bit here. It seems some MMA websites have reported on the story, posting up that I might die out in the desert, or that it might be my greatest opponent yet, etc. Come on guys. It’s really common down in southern California to go out to the off road recreation areas in the desert about an hour away from LA and San Diego. So my plan is to go out to the desert, do some camping, ride the motorcycle, and shoot some guns. Sounds like a lot of fun to me. A lot of people do it. This isn’t a version of “Into the Wild”. I’m not going out into the desert with a pair of shorts and a bowie knife, to try to live off the land. I’m going fully geared up, and I’m planning on having some fun.
I do plan on going back pretty far, so I did mention in one of my posts that I wanted to make sure to have good quality gear. Any failure of gear out in the desert could cause a problem.”
Evan had told his friends that if they hadn’t heard back from him for a day or two for them to call authorities. Apparently that’s exactly what happened and when a search was launched Tanner was found miles away from his camp. His motorcycle had run out of gas and it looks as if Tanner set out walking in temperatures upwards of 115 degrees and collapsed from the heat.
Evan will be greatly missed as both a fighter and as a man. His attitude in the cage and towards life has been nothing short of inspiring. The saying goes, The good die young, this is no exception. Rest in Peace Evan Tanner.