Evan Tanner

Sadollah-Dollaway II Completes “TUF Finale” Lineup


Amir Sadollah. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Last night’s episode of “The Ultimate Fighter” showed us that everything isn’t always set in stone, especially when it comes to who will be fighting to become this season’s winner.

After Amir Sadollah pulled off a third-round upset of highly touted wrestler C.B. Dollaway, he was set to join Jesse Taylor in the finals of the reality show’s middleweight bracket for this season. However when a few of the fighters opted to stay in Las Vegas following the filming of the show, Taylor’s infamous drunken escapades continued.

Taylor smashed a limousine window, upset guests at Palace Station, a casino owned by UFC co-owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, and then gave security all they could handle on the fighter’s final night in Sin City. UFC President Dana White had seen enough and ultimately decided to kick Taylor off of the show, additionally asking Dollaway and fellow semi-finalist Tim Credeur to fight in another exhibition bout to decide who would go on to fight Sadollah in the finals.

Dollaway used his wrestling skills to earn a hard-fought unanimous decision over Credeur, moving on to rematch Sadollah this Saturday night. This season’s finale will see the fewest amount of ‘TUF’ cast members in history - only seven from this season will be on the card. The remainder will have a slew of UFC veterans complete a stacked undercard.

The show will also feature a welterweight battle between Diego Sanchez and American Top Team product Luigi Fioravanti. Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner will collide with Kendall Grove, the middleweight winner of the show’s third season, in the night’s main event.

The complete card for the event is as follows:

Main Card:

Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove
Diego Sanchez vs. Luigi Fioravanti
Amir Sadollah vs. C.B. Dollaway
Spencer Fisher vs. Jeremy Stephens
Matt Riddle vs. Dante Rivera

Preliminary Bouts:

Josh Burkman vs. Dustin Hazelett
Marvin Eastman vs. Drew McFedries
Dean Lister vs. Jeremy Horn
Tim Credeur vs. Cale Yarbrough
Rob Yundt vs. Rob Kimmons
Matt Arroyo vs. Matt Brown

Video Hype: Tanner Talks Showdown With Grove

In the above video, former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner discusses his upcoming fight against Kendall Grove, the middleweight winner of the third season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, courtesy of ESPN. Among the topic Tanner elaborates on was the reasoning behind his most recent loss to Yushin Okami in March, his training leading up to the fight, and why the loser of the fight might actually find their way out of the UFC.

Evan Tanner Joins Spike as Blogger


Photo courtesy of EvanTanner.net

Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner has joined up with Spike, the television home of the UFC for the past three years, to run an online journal covering his adventures as a fighter in today’s world of mixed martial arts, including behind the scenes looks at his training and fights as well as his take on the current events concerning the sport.

Tanner and Spike published his first blog post today, which can be viewed here, at the network’s official site.

“I’ve been keeping an online journal on my personal website and other sites for years now,” Tanner said in his blog. “My goal was to give fans of MMA a candid, behind the scenes look at what it is to be a fighter, both inside and outside the ring. It was my way of trying to give a little back to the fans for everything they’ve done for me. When Spike.com decided to begin a similar project, they approached me with an offer to be a part of it. I’m honored by that, and I’m really glad to be here.”

Tanner has also been keeping a journal of his adventures on his official website as well for the past year or so.

He is currently slated to take on Kendall Grove, the middleweight winner of the third season of “The Ultimate Fighter’ in the main event of the finale of this year’s season of the popular reality show on June 21st at the The Palms Resort in Casino in Las Vegas.

Reminder: Support Team Tanner


Team Tanner’s new shirt is now available for purchase.

When former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner returns to action this summer against Kendall Grove at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale, he will once again be giving mixed martial arts fans around the world the opportunity to have their own spotlight in sponsoring a fighter.

An idea that became a reality, Tanner is straying away from the usual suspects that fighters are traditionally sponsored by and is paying tribute to the fans in the form of “Team Tanner.” With perks ranging from a personalized t-shirt to the chance to work as Tanner’s cornerman during one of his fights, it’s obvious why the concept has become so popular so fast.

Those that are interested in helping Team Tanner grow are now able to purchase the new team shirt. (Front design is above, entire shirt can be seen here.) The shirt can be purchased through Tanner’s official website or Driving Force Sports. Shipping for orders inside the United States is free.

The shirt that Tanner wore for his fight against Yushin Okami at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion and assorted beanies are also available but in limited quanities. Those that are interested in working with Tanner and his trainers behind the scenes for his next fight are asked to contact Tanner for pricing.

Support Team Tanner


Team Tanner’s new shirt is now available for purchase.

When former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner returns to action this summer, he will once again be giving mixed martial arts fans around the world the opportunity to have their own spotlight in sponsoring a fighter.

An idea that became a reality, Tanner is straying away from the usual suspects that fighters are traditionally sponsored by and is paying tribute to the fans in the form of “Team Tanner.” With perks ranging from a personalized t-shirt to the chance to work as Tanner’s cornerman during one of his fights, it’s obvious why the concept has become so popular so fast.

Those that are interested in helping Team Tanner grow are now able to purchase the new team shirt. (Front design is above, entire shirt can be seen here.) The shirt can be purchased through Tanner’s official website or Driving Force Sports. Shipping for orders inside the United States is free.

The shirt that Tanner wore for his fight against Yushin Okami at UFC 82: Pride of a Champion and assorted beanies will be available for purchase shortly. Those that are interested in working with Tanner and his trainers behind the scenes for his next fight are asked to contact Tanner for pricing.

Even though the fight has yet to be officially announced, MMA on Tap confirmed over the weekend that Tanner will be taking on Kendall Grove at the The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale on June 21st.

Exclusive: Tanner-Grove Set for TUF 7 Finale


Evan Tanner weighs-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Update 8:00 PM: Kendall Grove has since posted information concerning the fight on the front page of his official website.

Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner will attempt to bounce back from a recent loss to Yushin Okami last month when he takes on Kendall Grove at the The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale on June 21st.

Sources close to the fight have confirmed to MMA on Tap that bout agreements have been signed. It’s unknown at this time whether or not the fight will be televised or serve as one of the event’s preliminary bouts.

Tanner’s loss to Okami was his first fight in nearly two full years after taking a hiatus from active competition in order to get away from fighting and deal with some personal needs. His break from fighting also involved yet another battle with alcohol addiction, a disease Tanner has been fighting for the majority of his adult life.

Even though Tanner’s anticipated return didn’t go as planned against Okami, the former Team Quest member admitted that he overcame a huge hurdle after the fight as he prevented himself from giving in to his personal demons after the fight.

He’ll take on Grove, who fell victim to an upset knockout at the hands of Jorge Rivera at UFC 80: Rapid Fire in January. It was Grove’s second consecutive loss in as many fights. The middleweight winner of the third season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, Grove will most likely have to defeat Tanner if he wishes to remain with the UFC.

Diego Sanchez is expected to take on American Top Team’s Luigi Fioravanti in a bout that will serve as the show’s main event.

Tanner Set for Summer Return to Action


Evan Tanner weighs-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner, who was recently defeated by title contender Yushin Okami at UFC 82 earlier this month, will return to action this summer and apparently already has an opponent to prepare for.

Tanner made the announcement on his official website earlier today. According to the Amarillo, Texas native, he was given an opponent for his next fight by UFC matchmaker Joe Silva over the weekend.

“Just talked with Joe Silva, the UFC matchmaker, and he gave me a date and an opponent,” Tanner said in the post. “Looks like I’ll be back in the Octagon this summer. It’s good to have a fight scheduled. The last two weeks have been really rough.”

Tanner’s loss to Okami was his first fight in nearly two full years after taking a hiatus from active competition in order to get away from fighting and deal with some personal needs. His break from fighting also involved yet another battle with alcohol addiction, a disease Tanner has been fighting for the majority of his adult life.

Even though Tanner’s anticipated return didn’t go as planned against Okami, the former Team Quest member admitted that he overcame a huge hurdle after the fight as he prevented himself from giving in to his personal demons after the fight.

“That moment, in the silence of the dressing room, faced with crushing disappointment, numbing embarrassment, and that heavy sadness, I faced the old demons,” Tanner wrote in a post-fight blog post. “I felt so low, as if everything had been lost. I wanted to drink. I faced those old demons again, and I beat them down. I won the battle, and I won the war. I didn’t drink, and I won’t.”

Originally teaching himself submission and grappling techniques using instructional video tape, Tanner rode a roller coaster of ups and downs all the way to becoming the third middleweight champion in UFC history when he defeated David Terrell over three years ago.

“I never really set out to do that the first time,” Tanner said in a 2007 interview with MMA on Tap. “I just kept winning fights and next thing you know, I’ve got the middleweight belt. I was just trying to pay the bills.”

However it’s that same middleweight title that Tanner has vowed to regain since beginning his comeback late last year.

This Is Why I Respect Evan Tanner


Evan Tanner weighs-in for UFC 51: Super Saturday. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Sometimes I catch a lot of flack for constantly talking about Evan Tanner or continually using him in pieces on here. I could care less. He’s my favorite fighter and has been for years. I can’t help it.

I have to admit. I was a little irked when some people started to rag on Tanner for his personal problems, however it’s kind of something that you have to expect when a guy with such notoriety like him put himself out there for everyone to see like that.

I’ve had a huge amount of respect for Tanner for the longest time, way before he start blogging about his everyday life on the internet. Here was a guy that originally learned how to fight through watching instructional video tapes and eventually became one of the top middleweights in the world. Every fight he was in was exciting because he threw everything he had at his opponent.

If you haven’t read Tanner’s latest blog post on his website, I suggest that you do. So does Fightlinker. It’s one of those things that I would recommend to anybody, not just fans of mixed martial arts. It tells the story of a guy who’s had to fight a serious problem for the better part of 15 years and is finally making major leeway when it comes to conquering it:

The apex of the journal entry:

That moment, in the silence of the dressing room, faced with crushing disappointment, numbing embarrassment, and that heavy sadness, I faced the old demons. I felt so low, as if everything had been lost. I wanted to drink. I faced those old demons again, and I beat them down. I won the battle, and I won the war. I didn’t drink, and I won’t. That was my great test, one I had to face before I could really move on. I passed it. I stand triumphant, solid, UNSHAKEABLE.

It’s pretty awesome to read something like this, especially when you know that instead of falling back into the same rut after losing to Okami, Tanner still has the same amount of drive to regain his middleweight title as he did when he started his comeback.

Evan Tanner is one of the most honest people I know. I’ve spoken to him on many occasions and he’s also extremely friendly and just an all-around nice guy. But I just have to say, I respect the hell out of this guy.

UFC 82 Thoughts and Notes

Some brief thoughts and notes from last night’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion…

Full audio of the post-fight press conference here courtesy of Steve Cofield. Sam Caplan gives his take here, here, and here. Michael Rome here. Brian Knapp here.

Official news and numbers

Let’s get straight down to the facts. The official attendance inside the Nationwide Arena was 16,431. The live gate is expected to be somewhere around $2.2 million.

Fight of the Night honors went to Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson, who each received $60,000. Silva also earned $60,000 for submission of the night. Chris Leben won the same amount for his stoppage of Alessio Sakara.

Josh Koscheck and Yushin Okami both suffered separate hand injuries in their fights. Both Koscheck and Andrei Arlovski completed the last fights on their respective contracts with the UFC and are now officially free agents.

Silva looks unstoppable

I said before last night that if Anderson Silva dispatched of Dan Henderson easily, then I’d go ahead and claim that he is unstoppable. He is. He’s completely cleaned out the entire middleweight division. I was long a proponent that guys using the Team Quest style of fighting were bad matchups for Silva but obviously that isn’t the case. Silva shows us an entire new dimension of his game every time out.

While a rematch against Okami (who is now pretty much the top contender unless the UFC plans on bringing someone else in or creating a new plan) is intriguing, it’s pretty much set in stone that Silva would pick him apart on the feet. I don’t necessarily agree with Dana White’s constant statement that Silva is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport completely, but I will say that he’s getting dangerously close to achieving that honor.

Continue reading "UFC 82 Thoughts and Notes"

Silva Submits Henderson; Becomes Undisputed


Anderson Silva weighs-in for UFC 82: Pride of a Champion. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Anderson Silva passed his toughest test yet as champion with flying colors, submitting former Olympic wrestler Dan Henderson and successfully defending his UFC middleweight title for the third straight time, becoming the second undisputed champ in mixed martial arts history while doing it.

Even in defeat, Henderson perhaps gave the best performance against the champion to date. After an exchange on the feet to start the fight, Henderson was able to take Silva down and control him on the mat until the end of the round.

Although Silva did a good job of keeping a tight guard and preventing Henderson from doing any significant damage, the Team Quest co-founder used a number of hammer fists and the constant disruption of Silva’s breathing pattern to take the lead on the judge’s scorecards.

Silva heeded advice to crank up the pressure at the start of the second round, waving Henderson towards him and then stunning him with a mix of kicks, knees, and punches. A dazed Henderson swung wildly while trying to keep himself from falling over and then came up short in a takedown attempt.

Silva (21-4) capitalized by pouncing on his opponent. After softening him up with punches from inside his guard, Henderson (22-7) gave up his back and was forced to tap out via a rear naked choke moments later.

“My hat goes off to Anderson Silva,” Henderson said during a post-fight interview. “He was definitely the better fighter tonight. I controlled him well and beat him up a little bit in that first round and he came back ready to get after me in the second. He dazed me a little bit on the ground and then he got me in the choke.”

“I think I should have been more aggressive,” continued Henderson. “I didn’t fully execute my gameplan.”

Continue reading "Silva Submits Henderson; Becomes Undisputed"

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