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.