Veterans Marvin Eastman (14-7-1) and Evan Tanner (32-6) could tangle in a middleweight bout at UFC 76: "Knockout" on September 22, according to statements made from "The Beastman" last night on Cage Side Live.
Eastman — a light heavyweight (205 pounds) for the better part of his career — was rumored to be fighting Drew McFedries at UFC 77 on October 22 in Cincinnati, Ohio. During the interview, Eastman revealed that the UFC decided to move him to the Anaheim, Calif., card and did not provide a reason.
He did not come out and confirm the showdown with Tanner outright ... he also didn't deny it. But, the former champion is the only other 185-pounder penciled in for the card without an opponent.
As of June 2005, Tanner was the UFC middleweight champion, stopping David Terrell four months earlier in round one at UFC 51: "Super Saturday" to capture the vacant division title. He then lost his belt to Rich Franklin at UFC 53: "Heavy Hitters" and was defeated in his next fight against David Loiseau at Ultimate Fight Night (UFN) 2.
Tanner resurfaced in early 2006, submitting Justin Levens via triangle choke in round one at UFC 59: "Reality Check." Then, the 36-year-old just vanished from the fight scene only to resurface in recent months with talk of his fight team, which eventually fell through.
He announced his plans to return to the UFC in June.
Since his loss to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 67 via second-round knockout, Eastman has gone on to recently outpoint Rob Kimmons at the International Fighting Organization (IFO) event last month.
For the latest UFC 76 fight card click here.