UFC Middleweight Fighter Evan Tanner Found Dead In California (Age 37)

The UFC organization was given the sad news of the death of Evan Tanner after he was found dead in the Palo Verde mountain area of California on Monday, September 8th.  The former UFC middleweight champion seems to have predicted his own death after he had stated that he was going to take a very dangerous trip early September toward a desert-like section of south-eastern California. 

The following was one of Evan Tanner’s blog entries prior to his last trip

“I’m hoping that very soon I’ll be sitting out in the quiet of the desert beneath a deep blue midnight sky, listening to the calm desert breeze. The idea going into the desert came to me soon after I moved to Oceanside. It was motivated by my friend Sara’s talk of treasure hunting and lost gold, and my own insatiable appetite for adventure and exploration. I began to imagine what might be found in the deep reaches of the untracked desert. It became an obsession of sorts…. 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.”

A friend of Tanner’s, Deana Epperson, who grew up with him in Amarillo, Texas stated that he had text messaged some of his friends last week saying that he had no more water and his motorcycle had completely run out of gas.  It seems like that’s when most of his close family and friends began to worry.  The county officials began their search for the UFC fighter in hopes to find him safe and alive.  The U.S. Marines decided to get involved in the search as well and it was their helicopter that was able to find the body in temperatures reaching 115-120 (Farenheit) degree weather.  An autopsy is scheduled to take place today.

Here’s a snip from Douglas Vincitorio, a close friend to Tanner and a part of his management team:

“He went out to the desert to do a ‘cleansing’ as he called it. Kind of like ‘Survivor Man’… What we were told is that (sheriff’s officials who found him) believe his motorcycle had run out of gas, so he went to walk out in like 115 to 118-degree heat…He was miles away from his camp. That’s where the helicopter found him. Right now, they just think that he succumbed to the heat…He will obviously be sorely missed…I think that Evan would want to be remembered as a very complex man with many layers, not just a fighter.”

He was a former UFC middleweight champion, a former USWF heavyweight champion and the first American to win the Pancrase Neo-Blood tournament in Tokyo, Japan.  He will be remembered for giving us tons of great memories when it came to mixed martial.  Our great Evan Tanner shall be missed by MMA fans all over the world.  Rest in peace…

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