Evan Tanner rests during a recent workout session. Photo courtesy of Evan Tanner.
Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner will return after a two year hiatus against Yushin Okami when the UFC ventures into Canada for the first time in history on April 19th at UFC 84.
MMA Weekly’s Lee Whitehead states that UFC color commentator Joe Rogan announced that Tanner-Okami would be part of the UFC 84 in April during a question and answer session with the media earlier today following the weigh-ins for tomorrow’s UFC 81: Rapid Fire.
We have been able to confirm the date and opponent with Tanner himself.
A press conference to officially announce the event itself will be held on February 4th at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. UFC president Dana White, and current welterweight title holders Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra are expected to be in attendance.
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 in 2005.
After losing his belt in a rematch against Rich Franklin in his next fight, Tanner would lose consecutive bouts for the first time in his career when he fell to David Loiseau just months later. He got back on track in April of 2006 when he picked up a submission win over Justin Levens at UFC 59. It was his last fight to date.
Okami lost for the first time inside the confines of the UFC when he came out on the wrong end of a unanimous decision against Franklin at UFC 72 this past summer. He bounced back to win a decision over Canadian Jason MacDonald at UFC 77 in October.