"I plan on going so deep into the desert, that any failure of my equipment, could cost me my life."
-- Evan Tanner, August 18, 2008
It appears that former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner predicted his own death less than one month ago.
The Imperial County Sheriff's Department today discovered the dead body of a man in the Palo Verde, Calif., mountain area. And it is indeed Tanner.
MMAmania.com has placed several calls to the Imperial County Sheriff's Department and we have been unable to confirm or deny the report. However, it has been confirmed by several people close to Tanner.
Here's a snip from IVPressOnline.com:
"Authorities have not confirmed if the body is that of missing mixed martial arts fighter, Evan Tanner, who had fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Tanner, 37, has been missing since last weekend. Tanner's friends from Oceanside, where Tanner resides, had been texting him without reply since Wednesday before they reported him missing on Friday. On Sunday, a campsite was discovered in the Clapp Springs area of the Palo Verde mountains. Tanner's motorcycle was found at the campsite. A body was found today when a sheriffs deputy was flying around the general location of the campsite. The Imperial County deputy coroner is being flown in to retrieve and identify body."
This is truly a a huge loss. He was a pioneer of the sport who had his own unique approach to fighting and to life.
He was an adventure seeker, documenting his travels in great detail on his personal blog and on Spike.com. Tanner recently overcame a dark period in his life and a battle with alcohol.
His life was an open book, which either turned fans in his favor or against him. Tanner didn't really care one way or the other how people felt -- he did things his way.
He recently returned to the Octagon to recapture some of the glory from earlier in his fighting career; however, he lost his first two comeback bouts.
Tanner mentioned that he was going to take some time off and address some injuries that had been hampering him for the past several years. In the meantime, he continued his nomadic ways. While terribly tragic and entirely premature, it's perhaps a poetic end for one of the most eccentric fighters the sport has ever known.
Rest in peace, Evan.