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Former champ Evan Tanner steps into the Octagon ... alone

Evan Tanner



"I stepped up into the Octagon, under the lights, the canvas cool against the soles of my feet, the quiet of the arena echoing off row after row of empty seats. I stood there in silence, honoring all of the warriors who have stood that ground, and offering a silent prayer for those who will stand there in the future. I paid my respects to whatever gods of war may be, knowing that I would soon be standing this field again, heart pumping, blood coursing, lungs burning, ......battle raging."

He'll do it for real when he returns to fight Yushin Okami at UFC 82: "Pride of a Champion" on March 1 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Fitting title for the former 185-pound titleholder.

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