by Lee Whitehead – MMAWeekly.com
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, England – Late last year, Evan Tanner announced that he had signed to once again compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Now there is a date and an opponent to round out his return.
As part of a question and answer session on Friday, UFC broadcaster Joe Rogan stated that Evan Tanner will face Yushin Okami when the promotion makes its Canadian debut.
That event will be headlined by a championship bout between current welterweight titleholder Matt Serra and interim champion Georges St. Pierre. It will take place on April 19 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Joe Silva, UFC’s vice president of talent relations, confirmed Rogan’s comments about the fight.
Tanner last fought more than one-and-a-half years ago at UFC 59 where he defeated Justin Levens by triangle choke. He won the middleweight championship at UFC 51, defeating David Terrell by TKO. His reign didn’t last long though, as he lost the belt to Rich Franklin four months later.
The 36-year-old fighter out of Amarillo, Texas has long been considered a nomad, never staying with one fight camp for very long. Tanner has spent time training with teams such as Team Quest and Chute Boxe USA, but is currently training at Hard Knocks Muay Thai in Las Vegas. He has also recently traveled to Utah to train with Josh Burkman, who fights in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Jan. 23 against Mike Swick.
Rogan also stated that the UFC has been talking with Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto and Takanori Gomi amongst others, but as far as he is aware nothing is solid with any of them.