UFC 82: Evan Tanner Talks Yushin Okami, UFC and His Life

Evan Tanner is just about ready for Saturday as he is ready to reappear in the octagon after 2 long years.  What kind of fighter will we expect from Tanner at UFC 82: Pride of a champion?  We can only wait and see…

Check out what he has to say about his opponent Yushin Okami, what he has done these past 2 years, his future plans in the UFC and much more:

How did Evan Tanner start fighting?  What are his future UFC plans?:

“I never set out to be a fighter, I was only gonna do it one
night, just for kicks, and I’ve been fighting ever since. It’s always been like
a hobby – I’ll train for a month and a half and then take nine months off and
be out adventuring, get a fight, train again, and get completely away from the
sport again. That’s how it’s been my whole career; I just happen to be good at
it, so I’ve gotten away with it. But at this point I’ve decided to put some
other things in my life aside, completely focus on fighting, train year round,
and I definitely want to see what I can do giving it my full dedication.
Reaching the top level and winning the belt again is definitely a goal of mine
and we’ll see if it can be done"

How does Tanner prepare for Yushin Okami?…

“It doesn’t matter as long as you’re fully prepared…Most of
my fights, I really haven’t known anything about the opponent anyway, so that’s
nothing new. But at least nowadays, with Okami I have a chance to really review
a lot of his fights and study up on him."

Where has Tanner been hiding?

“I had so many adventures I was getting worn out with that…I
had a boat out in
California, down in the Oceanside area, and I ran
into some problems with it. The boat sank, and after that I was thinking ‘it’s
probably a sign that it’s time to end these adventures and get back to
business…I’ve been around since ’97, over ten years now…I’ve been in the UFC
for nine years, fighting pretty consistently the whole time, and I was just
getting tired and I wanted a little time off. I got away from it for a while,
had some things going on in my personal life that I wanted to take care of, so
I just took these last two years off, did some traveling, did some adventuring,
and kinda rested the spirit up.”

Thoughts on today’s UFC fighters:

"I think a lot of the fighters win a couple of fights
and they start putting on this almost infallible persona and suddenly they
become something that’s separate from everyone else and that you’re more
special than them and better than them…I didn’t want to get that way at all. No
matter what I accomplish in the sport, I’m thankful for the blessings that I’ve
been given that have allowed me to do it and I’m thankful to have had the
opportunities that a lot of people don’t get. So no matter what I do, I’m still
just an everyday guy and I want to make sure that I stay that way – I never
want to feel like I’m something better or something beyond. When I’m sharing
like that, even through the bad stuff, it’s just to show that I’m a regular guy"

Final thoughts:

“Everything’s been about the journey…I never really set out
with goals for fighting; it’s been about the adventure along the way. When
you’re on your death bed, it’s those stories, those little adventures that are
going to be the things that you remember. It’s not so much getting there, but
how you got there.”

(props to for their interview with Evan Tanner)

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