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Evan Tanner is my hero

We’ve always liked and respected Evan Tanner, even as he was going through his wacky adventures. But I can’t tell you how much respect I’ve gained for him over the past few months as he transformed himself into a better person.

Just last week I thought he couldn’t gain any more respect from me, that my respect-o-meter was full to the top. But Evan just proved again why he’s the man, with a stirring entry in his journal about the real fight on March 2nd: to keep off the bottle after losing to Yushin Okami.

That moment, in the silence of the dressing room, faced with crushing disappointment, numbing embarrassment, and that heavy sadness, I faced the old demons. I felt so low, as if everything had been lost. I wanted to drink. I faced those old demons again, and I beat them down. I won the battle, and I won the war. I didn’t drink, and I won’t. That was my great test, one I had to face before I could really move on. I passed it. I stand triumphant, solid, UNSHAKEABLE.

The entire journal entry is way up there on my list of ‘things you need to read’. Go check it out. And once again, WAR TANNER.

  • kentyman


    I liked him before, but I now consider myself a true Evan Tanner fan.

  • Dangerfield

    Someone needs to make a movie about him in 20 or 30 years. Seeing as I will probably be a multi trillionaire by then I’ll take care of it.

  • Xenicore

    He hit Okami with a few well-timed punches. Something to build on, I suppose.

  • Wu Tang

    Shed a tear. Tanner is fighting demons within himself. Very inspirational! Inner demons are hardest to win…

  • dignan

    Good for him.

    However, this battle isn’t over. I saw he goes on a bender within a year.

    Anyone up for the over under?

  • Archivist

    Man ,dignan, could we temporarily suspend the jackalness to celebrate an inspirational personnal victory?

    Anyway…. Congrats Evan, you’re a good guy in my book.

  • fightlinker

    Someone elsewhere said “Man … sounds like the guy needs a beer”.

    I LOL’ed

  • Thomas aka Hattori Hanzo

    respect to Tanner. Its not easy making Okami look good.

  • MadMan

    A true man of substance…defined by more than superficial folly…Respect!

  • operator

    Awsome I wasn’t a Tanner fan myself until finding out what he has been going through. The bottle is a tough battle and I hope he wins even if he retires as a fighter or goes to another oraganization. I still think he should write a book cuz I would read it for sure. Fuck Stallone made millions off of Rocky and the original was based on a true story.

  • fightlinker

    i got a feeling evan’s story is only beginning. I have no doubt he’s going to become a force in the MW division. The only question is: will he pull a rocky 1 against Anderson, or a rocky 2?

  • John Chandler

    I share the love for Tanner. This only increases it. But I’m going to go with a Rocky VI here. I’m sure Evan can put up quite a fight but unless he can lock in a flying triangle, I don’t see it ending well for him.

  • zeke

    I pray to god, that he wins his next fight but regardless………….WAR TANNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WAR EVAN TANNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WAR EVAN TANNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Wu Tang

    Hmmm.. could be rocky 5.. He is unable to train to win back his belt, yet he finds a student who has no skills or potential, but with Tanner as his coach, life teacher, mentor and father like figure, Tanner’s student will grace the octagon and in the UFC belt. The teacher thus passed his will to his student and a true legacy is born. Evan Tanner, the great fighter, former MW world champion, now coach of the current MW champion. That would be the most fitting ending he can have. Pass on your knowledge and teach it, many will learn, while keep your skills to yourself and not spread it, will not lead you to become a generious person. If that made any sense.

  • fightlinker

    Eugh, Rocky 5 sucked. Worst case scenario Rocky 6. ESPN claims an in his prime Tanner could defeat Anderson Silva. An enrages Silva challenges Tanner in a special exhibition match. And the rest … IS HISTORY!

  • RL Dookiefuck

    When Yushin Okami gets the better of you standing, it’s probably time to start drinking again.

    He started a foundation that bucked on the first kid he tried to help.
    He lived on a boat that sank before he even got it out of the slip.
    He got a DUI within weeks of one of his many declarations of sobriety.
    He slept under a ring at a Muay Thai gym, washing himself in the bathroom sink, a hobo-lifestyle very conducive to staying on the wagon.
    He got “robbed” of a bunch of free shit because he forgot to lock his car in Las goddamn Vegas.
    He decided to ignore sponsors because he couldn’t get any.

    and to top it all off he comes back to the UFC only to get KO’ed by one of the worst strikers in the division. But that’s okay because he’s still not going to drink.

    In other words, your hero is the dictionary definition of loser.

    Not like my hero, the esteemed Mr. Charles Bennett.

  • fightlinker

    haha, you had me kinda riled up till that last line. Well played, Dookiefuck. Well played.

  • Jonathan

    Evan is wrong when he says that he has won the war. The battle is a one time thing, the war of alcoholism is never over. Let me repeat that: It is never over, and it is never won. I hope that Evan can remain sober, but I worry that if he feels that he has truly won, that he will put himself in positions that will make him realize that he has not.

  • Roxy

    That’s amazing.

  • Matt (but I signed up as Mr. Unbelievable Pants)

    The guy is so honest. You can’t go wrong when you’re that honest. I mean, you can’t live in today’s society and be that honest, that pure, but you are still awesome to the max.

  • Henry

    I always liked Evan but never was a fan of his when he was the champ back then.
    Since I became aware of his comeback attempt an dhis blog I started to read it regularly and gained so much respect for him that of all the fights at UFC 82 I rooted most for Evan. I knew how tough it would be to face Okami and the outcome was what I feared would happen but that doesn’t matter really.
    I had/have substance abuse problems myself and know EXACTELY what it feels like when you hit rock bottom like Tanner did. It’s incredible that he was even able to enter the octagon again and get in shape in these few months. Being an addict means being unable to perform daily basic tasks, we’re talking about being in a condition where one is sheer unable to shave or take a shower in the morning or to tie one’s shoes and Tanner got himself in that kind of shape again in just 5 months; just look at the pic before and now.
    I also read his statement even before I read this blog entry and it moved me to tears. Like Matt already stated, he’s brutaly honest and some people cannot deal with this. The ones who ridicule him are prolly the ones who kiss every fighters ass who wins the belt then jump the bandwaggon when the next champ comes. Being an MMA champion isn’t just about being a man, but what Evan did takes truly a man and I respect him so much for what he accomplished so far.
    I agree with Jonathan, Evan has not won the war (which is a lifelong one) but “just” a battle, but it’s already that. Even when he relapses (or never gets the belt back) what matters is that he always pulls himself together and continues the battle.
    Respect and love to Evan Tanner!!