Evan Tanner

Five MMA Things I Want for Christmas

Since it’s Christmas Eve and there’s not a lot of news going on, I thought why not make a list of MMA-related things that I’d like to see next year.

These are in no particular order…

1. Randy Couture vs Fedor Emelianenko - I’m not the only one that wants to see this. EVERYONE wants to see this. It’d be the biggest fight ever. Since Fedor opted to sign with M-1 Global instead of the UFC, we are going to have to wait until at least October to learn whether or not Couture’s contract with the UFC is really finished or that’s he going to have to fight twice more in order to finally get out.

Hopefully what Couture says holds true. If not, Dana and company have to work out some kind of working partnership with M-1, at least for the sake of the fans if nothing else.

2. The return of Evan Tanner - Now that Tanner has officially signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC, it’s only a matter of time before he is finally set to step back into the Octagon. I’m not doubting that it’s going to happen by wishing for it. I just want to finally see it take place.

The guy has battled some personal demons over the past two years and I’m sure that the majority of MMA fans would like nothing more than to see Tanner achieve his dream of fighting again in the UFC. On top of that, Tanner says he has the goods to knock off Anderson Silva. Ask anyone to make a list of fighters that could beat Silva and you’ll see Tanner on there almost every time.

3. Floyd Mayweather in MMA - After months and months of putting MMA down and then deciding that he might want to try it, it’s time to put up or shut up for boxing’s best pound for pound fighter. If he fights under Mark Cuban’s HDNet Fights banner, money won’t even be an issue. If Mayweather does go into MMA, I think that he’ll try to spin it for all it’s worth. Based on the fact that he has zero experience, the athletic commission is going to force the matchmakers to put Floyd up against another fighter that has not fought professionally and has very little amateur experience, most likely a guy that Mayweather could knock out in the first round.

It’ll probably be an exhibition bout too. After that Mayweather will declare that boxing is superior to MMA and will never step into a cage again. Then a slew of professional MMA fighters will call him out and he’ll try to explain that he has no reason to go back and fight again in MMA. Still, it’ll definitely be fun to watch.

4. Josh Barnett and Takanori Gomi to sign somewhere - Ever since the demise of PRIDE, these two have been nowhere to be found. While Barnett kept some of the spotlight on him in 2007 with his war of words with Dana White and his submission grappling match a few days ago, he still hasn’t fought in an MMA bout since losing to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira nearly one year ago.

Gomi’s loss changed to a no contest against Nick Diaz was the former PRIDE Lightweight Champ’s only bout in ‘07. Since then, he’s been competely silent. These two are among the elite in their respective weight classes and aren’t getting any younger. It’s time to sign somewhere and get fighting again.

5. The UFC video game to come out in ‘08 - Yes, I know that it’s slated for a 2009 release but it could be finished early, right? It was UFC Throwdown’s release in 2002 that got me into the world of MMA. We haven’t had a new game since Sudden Impact in ‘04. The trailer for THQ’s new project looks amazing and I can’t wait. While I’m at it, Sam Caplan has a great article on UFC: Throwdown and what he hopes THQ will include in the new game coming out.

Report: Tanner to Make Return at UFC 82

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner will finally make his long-awaited return to the Octagon at UFC 82 in March according to a report by MMA Mania.

UFC 82 is currently scheduled to take place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio on March 2nd.

MMA on Tap has also learned that a potential fight between Tanner and the UFC’s newest middleweight Michael Bisping has been discussed by UFC officials.

Tanner recently signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC last month.

Tanner has not competed inside the Octagon since April of last year when he submitted Justin Levens with a triangle at UFC 59. He became the third UFC Middleweight Champion in history when he stopped David Terrell at UFC 51 in 2005. He would go on to lose the belt in his very next fight against Rich Franklin at UFC 53.

Tanner Signs Four-Fight Deal With UFC

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner has signed a four-fight deal with the UFC.

Tanner announced the news earlier today on his official website.

Tanner has not competed inside the Octagon since April of last year when he submitted Justin Levens with a triangle at UFC 59. He became the third UFC Middleweight Champion in history when he stopped David Terrell at UFC 51 in 2005. He would go on to lose the belt in his very next fight against Rich Franklin at UFC 53.

CKA: Oct 24, 2007

News and Notes

- Remember that you can always donate directly to the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund through this link.

- Evan Tanner is looking for sponsors for his friend Ian Dawe who will be fighting at a couple of upcoming shows later this year, including King of the Cage. Contact him here for information.

- Kalib Starnes posted the real story behind his controversial cut suffered during his bout against Alan Belcher this past weekend at UFC 77 in Sherdog’s forums:

I got hit with an elbow early in the first round. In the second round the ref stopped the action so the doctor could look at the cut. The doctor said “How is your vision?” I said “There’s blood in my eye.” Yves Lavigne said, “If you say you can’t see he’ll stop the fight.” I said, “I can see, there’s no problem, I want to fight.” The doctor spread the cut open with his thumbs and said “I can see his skull, I’m stopping it.” I said “I want to continue” and looked at my cornerman.

My cornerman was staring at my cut and yelling “Why are you stopping the fight?”, “What are you doing?” His comments were directed at the referee, but because he was staring at me, I was confused. That is why I became so angry, because I did not quit, and I thought that he was accusing me of quitting. We sorted things out afterwards. That’s something that bothers me a lot after Ken Shamrock said that I was not injured on that show when I had a serious injury. I still take a lot of heat for that son of a bitches ignorant comments.

- Paulo Filho and Thiago Silva have both joined Team Link.

- MMA News interviewed Brock Lesnar over the weekend who apparently already knows when and who he is fighting in his UFC debut.

- Sam Caplan is reporting that Shad Lierley has signed a deal with the IFL that will keep him in the promotion through 2008.

- 411 Mania makes note that Sean Salmon will serve as the injury replacement for the fighters competing in Strikeforce’s middleweight tournament in November.

Radio Schedule

12-1 PM EST - TAGG Radio
1-3 PM EST - The Jordan Breen Show
3-5 PM EST - The Stephen Quadros Show
3-4 PM EST - The Fight Network Radio
9-10 PM EST - MMAWeekly’s Sound Off
11 PM EST - Knockout Radio

Tanner’s Sunken Boat Getting Press

Southern California newspaper “The Log” wrote up a piece on Evan Tanner’s sunken boat still sitting in Mission Bay just outside of San Diego:

A sailboat owned by UFC fighter Evan Tanner sank Sept. 10 in Mariners Cove - and at press time, nearly a month later, the boat is still lying half-submerged on its side in Mission Bay.

According to Tanner’s online blog, he had purchased the classic 1939 Tahiti 30-foot wooden ketch in May, had the hull restored and painted at an Oceanside boatyard, and recently replaced the boat’s engine. He was sailing out of Oceanside Harbor - where he had stayed the maximum permissible time at guest docks - in hopes of finding another place to dock the boat. While he was under way in heavy swell, the boat began taking on water and the bilge pump stopped working.

If the boat isn’t moved within the next 30 days, Mission Bay officials will be permitted to remove it themselves.

Evan Tanner: UFC Hall of Fame Material?

I’d like to digress from all of the talk about Evan Tanner’s personal problems for a moment and think about something else. Say Tanner never fights again from this day forward. Has he done enough over the course of his career to earn a spot in the UFC’s Hall of Fame?

Arguments can be made both for and against Tanner.

Yes, Tanner deserves a spot - He’s a former UFC Middleweight Champion and became the first one to hold the belt since Murilo Bustamante in 2003. He has 11 total wins in the UFC - more than current hall of famers Ken Shamrock and Don Frye and the same amount as Royce Gracie. Has only lost 4 times in 19 total bouts. Tanner’s competed in two title fights. He owns wins over Homer Moore, Elvis Sinosic, Phil Baroni (twice), David Terrell, and Robbie Lawler. Only 2 of his wins have come by way of a decision, his other 9 victories were by either TKO or submission.

No, there are other fighters more deserving than Tanner - He’s been inconsistent throughout his career. His fight card isn’t that impressive. He was beaten by Tito Ortiz in 30 seconds. He lost decisively against Rich Franklin on two different occasions, proving that he can’t handle the elite fighters out there. He wasn’t a champion for long enough, he won the belt only to lose it in his very next fight. He doesn’t have wins over any big name fighters like Couture, Shamrock, Frye, and Gracie do.

So far I’m undecided. Part of me thinks that Tanner has done enough to warrant serious consideration. However I also think that including Tanner might open the door for other fighters that probably shouldn’t be included in the future.

Evan Tanner: “I Haven’t Been Training”

It seems that former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner won’t be returning to action in the near future after all according to a post today on his official website:

I have not been training at all, despite what the rumors say. I’ve signed no fights. I’m so far gone, living on the road, drinking myself into oblivion, that in moments of weakness, I wonder if I can make it back. It’s going to be a long road. I started drinking heavily, long before fighting was even a thought in my head. There was a definite reason I began. There was a method to my madness with good purpose. I’ll tell that story later.

We originally reported that Tanner had been offered the opportunity to take on Dean Lister at UFC 79 but it seems that he neglected to take up on the offer, for good reason if he hasn’t been training with Chute Boxe USA like we all assumed.

Tanner is once again fighting with the demons inside of him. Yet despite all of the setbacks, he still apparently wants to return to the Octagon:

I’ve been on the road for almost two years. I’m tired. I’m tired of drinking, I’m tired of living out of bags, I’m tired of not feeling home. And where is home? I imagine being in the gym again. I imagine stepping into the Octagon again, and in some strange way, those thoughts bring me comfort. That is my home. I know it’s time to come home.

I never wanted to be a fighter. I never dreamed of it. Those I most respected were men of peace. Despite what the general public thinks, I don’t train full time or year round. I never have. Throughout my career, if you wish to call it that, I have been a heavy drinker. I’ve only trained for a month or two at a time when I sign a fight. Sometimes I’ve put down the alchohol, sometimes I haven’t. I think the fights where I haven’t are obvious.

I keep having this idea of what I could do, what I could be if I put put the vices aside and dedicated myself to the sport. I’ve been obsessed with the idea lately. It’s funny. A friend told me I was doing Wing Chun in my sleep, lying there, working techniques. The next night I was throwing elbows and knees. I take it as a sign.

All that has been on my mind is getting back in the gym. As soon as I can take care of the boat, that is where I will be.

It’s interesting when he says that he has never trained on a regular basis. What could have happened if he became a mainstay at Team Quest and actually focused on MMA full-time? It’s a good question.

I’m the biggest Tanner fan I know. I’ve spoken to him on many occasions. I believe in him. However I’m feeling more and more as the rumors are killed that he might not ever get the chance to make one more run for the UFC Middleweight Title. The man that many believe has the style to defeat Anderson Silva might not ever get that chance at this point.

Exclusive: Tanner-Lister Proposed for UFC 79

MMA on Tap has learned that former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner has been proposed a possible bout with Dean Lister at UFC 79 in December.

Tanner has been out of action since submitting Justin Levens at UFC 59 in April of last year. After an attempt at creating a foundation for underprivileged mixed martial artists fell through, Tanner announced his intent to return to the UFC in May. Chute Boxe USA revealed that Tanner had joined the training team in June and stated that he would be fighting at a UFC event in September. Tanner was then heavily rumored to be fighting Marvin Eastman at UFC 76 but that rumor obviously turned out to be untrue.

Lister is coming off of surgery for a torn biceps muscle in his right arm, an injury that he suffered this past April. Lister’s manager, Jerry Villasenor, recently announced that his client was planning on returning at UFC 79 against an opponent that had not yet been named and that he would be running the new Xtreme Couture facility in San Diego. Lister last fought at UFC Fight Night 8 in January, losing an unanimous decision to Nate Marquardt.

Update 2:50 PM: It seems that Ryan from Fightlinker has also been made aware of the Tanner-Lister situation courtesy of Jorge Oliviera, Tanner’s training partner at Chute Boxe.

CKA: Jun 4, 2007

News and Notes

- In a interview with the Boston Herald that was printed Sunday, Chuck Liddell has confirmed that his next UFC fight will be against former PRIDE Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva:

The road back to the belt will not be easy. It will begin with a long-awaited fight against Wanderlei Silva, probably sometime toward the end of the year. Silva, like Liddell, recently lost his Pride light heavyweight belt to Dan Henderson, in a fight staged in Las Vegas, shortly before the UFC bought the Japanese-based organization.

Liddell-Silva is a fight that UFC president Dana White has been trying to make for a while, going to the extreme of bringing Silva into the ring during a UFC card, asking him who he wanted to fight, and Silva responding that he wanted Liddell.

“It’s going to be a striking battle,” Liddell said of the matchup with Silva. “Who’s going to hit harder and throw more punches. I think from the things I’ve seen (of him) that’s what it will be.”

- Chute Boxe USA has stated that former UFC Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner will make his return to the Octagon in September.

Evan Tanner has been training hard and is determined to win the title from Anderson Silva. According to Coach Roberto, he will be fighting at UFC in September under the Chute Boxe USA banner. His opponent is still unknown.

- UFC Mania has posted an exclusive interview with Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou over at their site…

Video of the Day

UFC 75: Mathis vs Boucher

Radio Schedule
12-1 PM - Tagg Radio
1-3 PM - The Savage Dog Show
3-4 PM - Fight Network Radio
3-5 PM - The Beatdown
9-10 PM - MMAWeekly’s Sound Off
11 PM - Knockout Radio

Tanner Joins Chute Boxe

Lost in the mix today with Chute Boxe’s announcement about the UFC’s possible acquisition of Mauricio Rua was the team also stating that they have added Evan Tanner to the mix.

From Chute Boxe USA’s official site:

Evan Tanner is back in Los Angeles with Coach Roberto Piccinini. He is determined to take back the UFC title from Anderson Silva and will be fighting under the Chute Boxe USA banner.

For those that don’t remember, Tanner previously trained with Chute Boxe USA for his fight against Justin Levens at UFC 59.

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