United States

Pro Record


32-8-0

Evan Tanner

Evan Tanner

Photo Source:   MMAWeekly.com

  • Given Name: Evan Loyd Tanner
  • Professional MMA Record: 32-8-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
  • Nickname: N/A
  • Ending Streak: 2 Losses
  • Date of Birth: 1971.02.11 | Died: 2008.09.05
  • Last Fight: June 21, 2008 in UFC
  • Weight Class: Middleweight | Last Weigh-In: 186.0 lbs
  • Affiliation: Hard Knocks Kickboxing
  • Height: 6'0" (183cm) | Reach: N/A
  • Career Disclosed Earnings: $158,000 USD
  • Born: Amarillo, Texas, United States
  • Fighter Pages: Sherdog  |  Wikipedia  |  The UG

Evan Tanner Wiki Update Wiki

The late Evan Tanner is remembered as one of the great pioneers of the sport of MMA. He was an iconoclast, a self-taught martial artist, a loner and mystery to others, as well as a world class athlete who owned some of the most memorable wins in early UFC history. His death was a shock to the MMA community and Evan Tanner is still remembered often and fondly by his contemporaries.


A former standout high school wrestler, Tanner was a unique athletic talent who, quite amazingly, was able to teach himself Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in his own garage primarily through the use of instructional VHS tapes and with limited access to training partners. According to more than one account, Tanner was aided in his feat by a near-photographic memory. For those who have suffered through the challenges of learning Jiu-Jitsu under even the best training conditions, Tanner’s accomplishment is extraordinary; to then take such a martial arts base all the way into the UFC and apply it against many of the world’s top fighters is close to unthinkable. Yet during his time in the UFC, Tanner emerged as one of its toughest and most durable combatants, defeating some of the world’s best middleweights, including Phil Baroni (twice), Robbie Lawler, and Justin Levens.


Tanner could never be counted out, as with the time he was virtually written off prior to his UFC 51 bout with the much-vaunted Octagon newcomer and Cesar Gracie BJJ specialist, “The Soul Assassin” David Terrell. In a bout for the vacant UFC Middleweight Championship that some hoped would annoint Terrell the promotion’s next big star, Tanner went on to obliterate Terrell with strikes on the ground in a signature performance.


Tanner’s Octagon nemesis proved to be a young and upcoming fighter by the name of Rich Franklin, who was later recognized as one of the promotion’s all time best. Tanner lost to Franklin once before Franklin was well-known, and yet again in a punishingly one-sided affair once Franklin was an established champion.


Throughout his life, Tanner had struggled with alcoholism, depression, and bouts of self-destructive and grossly reckless behavior. He could be known, alternatively, to disappear for long lengths of time, to sleep outdoors, to live the life of a vagrant, or to allow himself to lose virtually all his conditioning through drinking to excess or simply failing to eat. Before some of his most important bouts, Tanner would go on to deliver respectable performances even after those who knew him well believed he would be unable to compete at all.


After back-to-back Octagon losses in 2008 sent his fighting career into a tailspin, the frequently locquacious Tanner had spoken on his blog of his intention to take a potentially dangerous solo camping trip into the California desert in an effort to find himself. Later that month, in September of 2008, Tanner was found dead in the desert near Brawley, California after succumbing to heat exposure. Even for those who knew him, his death came as a shock.


One of the most beloved fighters in the history of the sport, Evan Tanner still carries a devoted fan base that honors his free spirit and his fighting accomplishments.

Last updated 09.26.2012, 10:59 PM ET
Wiki Contributors:

Tapology Consensus Rankings For Evan Tanner

Evan Tanner MMA Fight Record

Record by Year and By Promotion

Pro Results Opponent Event Date
Loss | Decision | Split
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total

Kendall Grove
32-7-0 8-5-0

The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale
Main Event | Middleweight | 185 lbs

2008.06.21
Odds: -173 (Slight Favorite) | Disclosed Pay: $25,000 Base | Weigh-In: 186.0 lbs | Referee: Steve Mazzagatti
Loss | KO/TKO | Knee
3:00 Round 2 of 3, 8:00 Total

Yushin Okami
32-6-0 21-4-0

UFC 82: Pride of a Champion
Main Card | Middleweight | 185 lbs

2008.03.01
Odds: +178 (Slight Underdog) | Disclosed Pay: $25,000 Base | Weigh-In: 185.0 lbs | Referee: Mark Matheny
Cancelled Bout Jeremy Horn UFC 60 2006.05.27
Reason: Tanner Withdrew
Cancelled Bout Jeremy Horn UFC 59 2006.04.15
Reason: Horn Injury
Win | Submission | Choke
3:14 Round 1 of 3

Justin Levens
31-6-0 7-1-0

UFC 59: Reality Check
Main Card | Middleweight | 185 lbs

2006.04.15
Odds: -325 (Moderate Favorite) | Disclosed Pay: $40,000 ($20K Base, $20K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 186.0 lbs | Referee: Herb Dean
Loss | KO/TKO | Injury
4:15 Round 2 of 3, 9:15 Total

David Loiseau
31-5-0 13-4-0

UFC Fight Night 2
Main Event | Middleweight | 185 lbs

2005.10.03
Weigh-In: 186.0 lbs | Referee: John McCarthy
Loss | KO/TKO | Injury
3:25 Round 4 of 5, 18:25 Total

Rich Franklin
31-4-0 19-1-0

UFC 53: Heavy Hitters
Co-Main Event | Title Defense | Middleweight | 185

2005.06.04
Weigh-In: 186.0 lbs | Referee: Herb Dean
#26 Greatest Middleweight MMA Fight of All Time
Win | KO/TKO | Punches
4:35 Round 1 of 5

David Terrell
30-4-0 5-1-0

UFC 51: Super Saturday
Main Card | Vacant Title | Middleweight | 185 lbs

2005.02.05
Odds: +120 (Near Even) | Disclosed Pay: $38,000 ($18K Base, $20K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 187.5 lbs | Referee: Herb Dean
#29 Greatest Middleweight MMA Fight of All Time
Win | Submission | Choke
2:22 Round 1 of 3

Robbie Lawler
29-4-0 8-2-0

UFC 50: The War of '04
Main Card | Middleweight | 185 lbs

2004.10.22
Odds: -160 (Slight Favorite) | Weigh-In: 184.0 lbs | Referee: John McCarthy
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total

Phil Baroni
28-4-0 5-3-0

UFC 48: Payback
Main Card | Middleweight | 185 lbs

2004.06.19
Odds: -115 (Near Even) | Disclosed Pay: $30,000 ($15K Base, $15K Bonus) | Weigh-In: 185.5 lbs | Referee: John McCarthy
Win | KO/TKO | Punches
4:42 Round 1 of 3

Phil Baroni
27-4-0 5-2-0

UFC 45: Revolution
Main Card | Middleweight | 185 lbs

2003.11.21
Weigh-In: 185.0 lbs | Referee: Larry Landless
Loss | KO/TKO | Punches
2:40 Round 1 of 3

Rich Franklin
27-3-0 11-0-0

UFC 42: Sudden Impact
Main Card | Light Heavyweight | 205 lbs

2003.04.25
Odds: -200 (Moderate Favorite) Upset Defeat | Weigh-In: 199.0 lbs | Referee: Larry Landless
Win | Submission | Choke

Shannon Ritch

Full Contact Fighting Federation

2003.02.15
Cancelled Bout Vladimir Matyushenko UFC 38 2002.07.13
Reason: Matyushenko Injury
Win | Decision | Unanimous
3 Rounds, 15:00 Total

Chris Haseman
25-3-0 19-12-0

UFC 38: Brawl at the Hall
Preliminary Card | Light Heavyweight | 205 lbs

2002.07.13
Win | KO/TKO | Injury
2:06 Round 1 of 3

Elvis Sinosic
24-3-0 4-4-1

UFC 36: Worlds Collide
Main Card | Light Heavyweight | 205 lbs

2002.03.22
Weigh-In: 198.0 lbs | Referee: Mason White
Win | Submission | Armlock
0:55 Round 2 of 3, 5:55 Total

Homer Moore
23-3-0 11-0-0

UFC 34: High Voltage
Main Card | Light Heavyweight | 205 lbs

2001.11.02
Loss | KO/TKO | Slam
0:32 Round 1 of 5

Tito Ortiz
23-2-0 6-2-0

UFC 30: Battle on the Boardwalk
Main Event | Title Challenge | Middleweight | 199

2001.02.23
Odds: +350 (Moderate Underdog) | Weigh-In: 197.0 lbs | Referee: John McCarthy
#90 Greatest Knockout of All Time
Win | KO/TKO | Strikes
4:48 Round 1 of 3

Lance Gibson
22-2-0 4-3-0

UFC 29: Defense of the Belts
Main Card | Middleweight | 90 kg

2000.12.16
Weigh-In: 193.0 lbs | Referee: Mario Yamasaki
Win | Submission | Choke

Travis Fulton

USWF 18

2000.11.25
Win | KO/TKO | Punches

Raoul Romero

USWF 17

2000.07.17
Win | Submission | Armlock

Vinny Nixon

USWF 14

1999.04.24
Loss | KO/TKO | Knees

Leon Dijk

Pancrase

1999.04.18
Win | Submission | Strikes

Mike Cizek

USWF 13

1999.03.20
Win | KO/TKO | Elbows
2:58 Round 1 of 1

Valeri Ignatov
17-1-0 0-0-0

UFC 19: Ultimate Young Guns
Main Card | Middleweight | 199 lbs

1999.03.05
Weigh-In: 199.0 lbs | Referee: John McCarthy
Win | Submission | Choke
7:57 Round 1 of 1

Darrel Gholar
16-1-0 0-1-0

UFC 18: The Road to the Heavyweight Title
Main Card | Middleweight | 199 lbs

1999.01.08
Weigh-In: 199.0 lbs | Referee: John McCarthy
Win | Submission | Choke

Ryushi Yanagisawa

Pancrase

1998.12.19
Win | Submission | Choke

Gene Lydick

USWF 12

1998.10.24
Win | Decision

Kiuma Kunioku

Pancrase

1998.09.14
Win | Submission | Shoulder

Justin McCully

Pancrase

1998.07.26
Win | Submission | Choke

Ikuhisa Minowa

Pancrase

1998.07.07
Win | Submission | Choke

Kosei Kubota

Pancrase

1998.07.07
Win | KO/TKO | Knees

Tony Castillo

USWF 9

1998.06.20
Win | KO/TKO | Knee

Wade Kroeze

Gladiators

1998.04.18
Win | Submission | Choke

Dennis Reed

Gladiators

1998.04.18
Win | Submission | Choke

Rusty Totty

USWF 8

1998.03.28
Win | Submission | Strikes

Joe Frailey

PSDA

1997.11.22
Loss | Submission | Choke

Heath Herring

PSDA

1997.11.22
Win | Submission | Choke

Jesse Gonzalez

PSDA

1997.11.22
Win | Submission

Heath Herring

USWF 7

1997.10.18
Win | Submission | Choke

Paul Buentello

USWF 4

1997.04.12
Win | Submission | Armlock

Gary Nabors

USWF 4

1997.04.12
Win | Submission

Mike Kennedy

USWF 4

1997.04.12

Evan Tanner News View All

The reminders of Evan Tanner are everywhere for Josh Burkman.“I got one doll,” he chuckles. “A... (15 days ago)
After back to back Bellator and UFC violence on Friday night, fights fans were left to their o... (30 days ago)
Evan Tanner was one of those old school fighters everyone loved to root for. He was the true d... (2 months ago)
By almost any measure, the UFC's card in Ireland on Saturday was a smashing success: The fight... (3 months ago)
From myMMA.pl on Monday, May 12, 1:29PM ET (5 months ago)
(Moore's mugshot via the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) So this is pretty f*cked up. If... (6 months ago)

Videos & Highlights

    Highlight  |  Evan Tanner Tribute Video by Tap or Sleep report dead link

    MMA highlight video maker Tap or Sleep honors the legacy of the late Evan Tanner with this career compilation video.

  • Highlight  |  "Evan Tanner 1971 - 2008" HL Vid By Machinemen report dead link

    MMA video maker Machinemen pays tribute to the late Evan Tanner.

  • Promo Video  |  "Once I Was A Champion" Evan Tanner Documentary Official Trailer report dead link

    The official trailer to the Evan Tanner documentary film "Once I was a Champion" by TapouT Films.

  • MMA Weekly : TUF 20 Episode 5 Notes: Grudge Matches, Injuries, Departures and Second Chances
  • MMA Junkie : Episode No. 5 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 20: Team Pettis vs. Team Melendez'
  • MMAFighting.com : Tecia Torres replaces injured Justine Kish, re-enters The Ultimate Fighter 20 tournament
  • MMAFighting.com : Urijah Faber media scrum in Brazil
  • MMAFighting.com : Anthony Johnson's manager optimistic about his situation with UFC
  • MMAFighting.com : Joe Lauzon out of bout with Diego Sanchez at UFC 180
  • MMAFighting.com : Georges St-Pierre says Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta didn't try to convince him to return
  • MMA Weekly : Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano Confirmed for UFC 182 in Las Vegas
  • MMA Junkie : Dana White says Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano official for UFC 182 in Vegas
  • MMAFighting.com : Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano slated for UFC 182
  • MMA Weekly : Pictures of Ballerinas Knocking Out UFC Fighters Are Hilariously Awesome
  • MMA Junkie : UFC, 'TUF 17' vet Tor Troeng announces retirement from MMA
  • MMAFighting.com : UFC 179 Embedded, Episode 2: 'I'm going to [expletive] this guy up'
  • MMA Weekly : UFC 179 Embedded, Episode 1: Jose Aldo Has Harsh Words for Chad Mendes
  • MMA Junkie : Video: Urijah Faber breaks down UFC 179's Jose Aldo-Chad Mendes main event
  • MMA Weekly : The Jon Jones PSA on Social Media Faux Pas
  • MMA Junkie : Source: Joe Lauzon forced out of UFC 180 fight with Diego Sanchez
  • MMA Weekly : Stephan Bonnar Broke a Toe, but Still Plans to Fight Tito Ortiz
  • MMA Junkie : Bellator 130's Linton Vassell 'fine with flying under the radar' before title fight
  • MMAFighting.com : Scott Coker calls move away from weekly Bellator shows a 'no brainer'