by MMAWeekly.com Staff

An Amarillo, Texas native, Evan Tanner was a high school
wrestling stand out who won the state championships his junior and senior years
despite entering the sport as a sophomore. He began mixed martial arts in 1997
encouraged by friends.


Tanner rose to the top of the mixed martial arts world by
winning the UFC middleweight title over David Terrell at UFC 51: "Super
Saturday" on Feb. 5, 2005. He last competed in the UFC on June 21 losing
to Kendall Grove by split decision.


“He will obviously be sorely missed,” said Douglas Vincitorio
of Tanner’s management agency, Driving Force Sports. Adding, “I think that Evan
would want to be remembered as a very complex man with many layers, not just a


“Evan was a dear friend to us and an important part of the
DFS family,” says Driving Force Sports owner John Hayner. “He was so much more
than a fighter. He was an individual we appreciated and cared a lot about. He
marched to a drum only he could hear, and he was happy with that – so
were we and so were his fans. He worked so hard to get fans more involved in
the industry and be a part of his team. He was the kind of guy who kept on
trying every day to improve… not just in fighting but in his life as a whole.”


in yourself. Believe in your own potential for greatness. Believe that you
can change the world. It is something that is within each of us.”


– Evan Michael Tanner 1971-2008