by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
It was recently reported that Evan Tanner signed a new contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and would soon return to the Octagon following more than a one-and-a-half year hiatus.

The former middleweight champion has now started to mix up his training routines and begun working once again with his old friend Josh Burkman, who trained alongside Tanner at Team Quest in Oregon.

“When he left (Team) Quest and I left Quest, I would train with him a little bit out there in Vegas … whenever he decides he wants to get serious and start training he gets a hold of me and comes out to Utah,” Burkman said of Tanner’s return to his training camp.

Burkman spoke highly about Tanner’s commitment to training and what it’s like to work with him in camp.

“When he’s training, there’s nobody better to train with.”

The atmosphere at the training camp in Utah has been healthy for Burkman, and Tanner will surely benefit from the work there as well.

“The thing about Utah is that it’s just a good environment,” Burkman said. “The place is really easy to get around, the altitude’s high, and there’s not a lot of distractions.”

While no date has been named for Tanner’s official return to the Octagon, Burkman feels that he will be a force in the UFC’s middleweight division the day he fights again.

“He so intelligent, he’s so smart and he’s a gifted athlete,” said Burkman. “If Evan Tanner focuses, I think everybody in the 185-pound division, they’re in trouble.”

Tanner continues to work and train in Las Vegas as well and has not announced any plans to permanently join any specific team.