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Evan Tanner not ruling out retirement


On his exclusive blog for, Evan Tanner reveals that he was devastated by Saturday’s split decision loss to Kendall Grove during the main event of the live season finale for “The Ultimate Fighter” and that he’s considering retirement.

“I was pissed off about the fight, f**king sad, f**king raging, on edge, all of it heavy with me, trying to maintain, trying not to explode,” a candid Tanner writes. “Camera men in my face, corner men, doctors, security, paramedics, friends, journalists, too many bodies crowding me, too many hands pulling me too many ways. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breath, standing there afraid of the man that would come out if I lost control. I broke free, turned my back, stepped into the bathroom and closed the door. I tried to catch my breath in that small space, tried to calm down.”

Tanner, a former UFC middleweight champion whose troubles outside of the cage have been well-documented, made a vague reference to a health issue that has been effecting him as of late. He reveals in the blog that he intends to get it checked out but that it could force him into retirement.

“I’ve been having some serious health problems for a while now,” revealed Tanner, without specifically naming his ailment. “They’ve caused me some problems in my daily life and have seriously affected my training. I obviously haven’t been the same guy in the ring… I’m going to be taking a little time off to see a doctor. If we can’t get this health issue figured out, I’m done, I’m retiring. I don’t want to step back into the Octagon unless I’m 100%, and I can give the fans the type of fight they deserve to see.”

Despite painting a bleak picture, Tanner stopped short of saying he was going to hang out his gloves.

“I don’t see (the health issues) coming to (retirement) though,” he said. “Tomorrow I’m hopping on the bike, and riding up to Oregon to visit the good doctor. I’ve got a good feeling about things.”

  • Evan says:

    I’m guessing depression…anxiety…something like that.

  • butman says:

    I’m guessing Evan is the shit

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    He looked ok physically until Grove nailed him with knees etc. If he was injured, he compensated pretty well during the fight.

  • Dawny says:

    I think if Evan watched the fight on mute, he’d think differently. It’s not like Kendall beat him down. Kendall just hung in there trying not to lose the fight.

  • Evan says:

    This is confusing…Dawny are you talking to me?

    If so….

    ““I’ve been having some serious health problems for a while now,””

  • bjjdenver says:

    If he can stay healthy, no need to retire. Grove didn’t really dominate him outside of the cut from the elbow, and a guy like Kendall can be a bad matchup for anyone, especially an average height fighter like Tanner.

  • RUSH says:

    I think Tanner’s got some demons he has to fight next.

  • Dawny says:

    I guess I did not phrase my first comment very well, huh Evan?

    I guess what I meant to say is that if you were to watch the fight, maybe you’d see that you didn’t do as bad as you think. For one thing, Kendall didn’t give you a beatdown. For another, you controlled most of the fight, he didn’t.

    I also feel that watching without the comments of Joe & Mike help as well (Just my opinion)

  • joe says:

    yeah,theres always 2 differnet fights, the one that Rogan/Goldie see and the actual fight

  • Rich S. says:

    i just hope we can get back to seeing the Evan Tanner that dominated Baroni back to back at UFC 45 and 48, triangle’d current MW champ Robbie Lawler in 2 min. back at UFC50, and dominated Dave Terrell at UFC 51 for the MW belt..

    and his submission win over Justin Levens at UFC 59 was straight up beautiful..

    but.. you can tell somewhere he just fell off.. he looked fine in the Grove fight, but not 100% as he mentioned.. but he looked slow, choppy, and unenergetic in the Okami fight.. that was just hard to watch..

    idk.. i won’t have too much of a problem if he decides to retire.. because that would be better than watching him get beasted..

    but i would love to see him continue to fight, and win.. i mean, if we can get the old Tanner back, he could REALLY shake up the MW division..

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    Looks like he is the ‘old ‘ Tanner now.
    It’s like he’s turning into a modern day Hemingway.
    Fight a guy ,then write about it.

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    I hope he stays around,at the very least to fight some of the TUF guys.

  • Ryder Die says:

    I hope that Evan Tanner doesnt hang up the gloves. I was really pumped about his return and hope that he gives it one more run. Two fights – he didnt look great in either but he didnt look like he should retire. I understand if he is having some problems that force him into retire but I dont want him to. I want him tostick it out for another run. All my favorites are close to retire- I guess Im gonna have to find some others to root for. Good Luck Evan in whatever you do!

  • keenan says:

    hey losing to okami is nothing to feel terrible about everyone loses to okmi and it was a split desicion loss to a pretty good fighter in grove all in all its not a successful comeback but not all that bad… speaking of okami whats he going to do if not fight silva and hendo is fighting palhous or whatever his name is again, i cant see them ending bisping’s push and franklin okami two isnt a great prospect any thought?

  • zack says:

    wait, hes got serious health probs, but hes riding his bike to oregon? WTF? or is he already back in oregon and riding to the dr.?
    oh, and yes he did get dominated by kendall grove. he was never in that fight or his previous fight against okami. if he cant return to his previous form, i dont blame him for retiring, whatever the cause.

  • Hinkelberry says:

    I seem to remember Evan Tanner kicking some serious ass when this new crop of MMA fans were still pooping in diapers. They need to watch some of his older fights and give a LEGEND some respect. The UFC as you know it was built on the back of guys like Evan. Tanner lost, everyone does sometime. Evan, keep working man the wins will come!!!

  • sved says:

    Tanner won the Grove match in my view…Grove was backing down most of the match

    if not for the cut he lost

    usually I’d side w/ Kendall

    but Tanner did enough to constantly pressure and move up

    he didn’t get taken down much and 0 sub attempts or Ko power shots by Grove

    How exactly did Grove win…. As Dana says Crazy Judges—

  • maddog says:

    # 16
    tanner was though that was it-grove controlled the whole fight

    I love tanner but he just threw big out of control punches that never landed.

  • Brent says:

    Grove had that fight all the way… no idea what you’re talkin about there….

    and @#15 zack… he’s riding his motorcycle i’d bet…. i hope you didnt think actual bike

  • Dawny says:

    #17 Sved – I see your point based on Tim Sylvia’s fight with Brandon Vera. It was pretty much identical to Tanner’s fight with Grove.

    Tanner was damaged, but he was controlling the fight.

  • Rich S. says:

    “oh, and yes he did get dominated by kendall grove. he was never in that fight”

    doesn’t make too much sense because i believe he won the first round..

    and ..
    “hey losing to okami is nothing to feel terrible about everyone loses to okmi”

    you’re right, but NOBODY loses to Okami via Brutal Standing Knock Out.. that is FOR SURE.. something was obviously wrong in that fight..

  • Mike says:

    there was somethin about his demeaner that was just off in my eyes he just looked wiered on saturday not the same Evan Tanner i have seen befor

  • revjames13 says:

    The Okami fight was a bad choice for his first fight back. When you’ve been off drinking beer for two years and working on your beard, you don’t come back and fight the guy whose next in line for a title shot.

    As for Grove, he’s the exact kind of guy that Tanner in his prime would beat 10 out of 10 times. The fact that he lost due to a split decision makes it half respectable. But he stepped out of the sport while the sport was still evolving and now he’s back half a step slower. He still has the skills to challenge borderline guys, a gate keeper if you will. But even at his best, he couldn’t crack the top five of the division today.

    I like Tanner a lot, the Man of a Thousand Haircuts. I hope he doesn’t retire, but no one will fault him if he does. He held the MW belt, a huge achievement for, let’s face it, the journeyman that he is. And if it’s time for him to leave the gloves in the ring, then my hats off to him.

    Otherwise I think he should drop down to 170 and fight Phil Baroni.

  • Rich S. says:

    well, you know he used to fight at LHW.. but.. if he moved up.. that would just be… BAD… i mean, Tanner/Wandy, Tanner/Rampage, Tanner/Liddell, all of those would be devistating fights for him.. except for MAYBE Rampage..

  • zack says:

    he did NOT win the 1st round.

  • that guy says:

    tanner is a good fighter but he’s had his problems recently. like someone else said..give him his props for his past fights and his current fights. win/lose he’s been a good guy when either happened.

  • Sergio G. Hernandez says:

    It’s sad to say, as he has always been a favorite of mine, that Tanner is more than likely done.

    His sabbatical combined with his age combined with the fact that he’s never had a good, steady camp to train out of (save for his short stint at Quest where he, ya know, WON the MW title) are all factors as to why he can no longer be a force in the 185 division.

  • OCD says:

    The fact that Tanner was devastated by the loss shows he’s lost touch with the MMA game. Grove was not impressive, and Tanner wasn’t even in the game that night.

    I believe guys like Tanner, Ortiz, Hughes, and the like, who’s game are LARGELY one dimensional are done in MMA for the most part unless they want to fight in a lesser organization. Gone are the days when someone could dominate with a single style for any length of time.

  • HexRei says:

    @#28 But Tanner’s style ISNT really one-dimensional. Hughes and Ortiz, sure, both GnP wrestlers. But Tanner actually is pretty well-rounded- his clinch is good, his jitz is good, and his boxing is good. I think Tanner’s problem now is that none of them is GREAT. That and his gas tank is too small.

  • Rich S. says:

    ya OCD, go watch Tanner/Barno 1, he had some VICIOUS knees in that fight..

  • Rich S. says:

    oops.. make that.. Tanner/Baroni 1


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