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.