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UFC Fighter Found Dead

9/9/2008 12:20 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ has learned former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner went missing in the California desert and his body was found yesterday.

Law enforcement tells us the 37-year-old went out into the desert near San Diego last Friday. That same day, Tanner sent a text message to a friend that he was out of water and needed help. There was a massive search that ended abruptly yesterday.

Tanner blogged last month he was going to the desert because of his friends talking about "treasure hunting and lost gold, and my own insatiable appetite for adventure and exploration." Tanner continued, "I plan on going so deep into the desert, that any failure of my equipment could cost me my life."

Tanner's song of choice on his MySpace page was "Guaranteed" by Eddie Vedder from the movie "Into the Wild." The movie was about a guy who goes off into the wilderness against the advice of everyone he knows. Guess how it ended.

Tanner was featured on Spike TV's, "The Ultimate Fighter." He lost his last bout in June at the Ultimate Fighter 7 finale.

Cause of death is undetermined.


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rip evan. you were a cool guy with an adventurers spirit. always a gentleman and fun to be around.

very sad news..................

2198 days ago



2198 days ago

Big Bear    

I have gone into the desert for adventures and it can be dangerous. I ran out of water like he did and I guess it was not my time to go. Sorry to hear that Evan did not make it. I wish his family well!!! What is that old saying " There but for the grace of God go I" or something like that!!

2198 days ago


RIP Evan Tanner.... to answer an eariler post: Tanner was never "on" the spikeTV show TUF ... but he fought during the finale that aired live.. Evan was also supposed to be the coach for one of the seasons, but Rich Franklin took his coaching spot when he defeated Tanner and won the middleweight title. Evan was a good guy at heart... hope his family and friends are doing well.

2198 days ago


Hello ...What do you mean Evan was only a Blogger on and was never part of the UFC? He was that, but sorry He WAS a UFC fighter...? He was not the kind of man to bring attention to himself, but what is wrong with TMZ putting this story on their site? He was a fighter and he died. It's the people who are saying such awful things about him that should be ashamed!!!!!!. Evan was a great, great man! Rest in peace my friend Evan.

50. You people dont know anything do you? Evan Tanner was never a part of "The Ultimate Fighter". He was a blogger ON Morons. You idiots are whats wrong with america. Any sensational story is a good story right TMZ? Even if you dont have the right facts or if you think you know what your publishing might be true but you go ahead any way. Your ignorance is unacceptable. And what does Evan Tanner have to do with your buisness anyway? He hated this kind of crap. He despised it. If he were still alive, God rest his soul, and you printed this about someone he knew, he'd find you and break your neck. You morons at TMZ really crossed the line this time. You can have your Brittney and Paris B.S. but leave people like Evan Tanner alone. Their not part of your ego-driven fantasy world where money makes the world go around...Maybe if you actually knew who the hell Evan Tanner was you might not ever print anything about him or anybody like him again. Evan Tanner was a rare person in this confusing world we live in. I cant stand anymore of this crap. This business you morons are in is making money off of making people miserable. While you think you make people look like idiots, in truth you, TMZ, end up looking like the miserable ones who have nothing better to do than repeat the cycle with whomever is dumb enough to live the life of a celebrity. A celebrity Evan was not. So why mention him...

Posted at 4:11AM on Sep 9th 2008 by mbungle

2198 days ago


OMG no way. I actually liked Evan. My thoughts are with his family. How tragic.

2198 days ago


Pitting yourself against untamed Mother Nature is risky at best. Obviously.

2198 days ago


He wasn't my favorite fighter but I have to admit I wanted him to make a comeback. I got all the respect for you Evan and I hope you are in a better place. This is a tragedy. RIP Champ

2198 days ago


You complete tossers! Thanks for giving away the ending to a film there. So inconsiderate...

2198 days ago


sounds planned. R.I.P.

2198 days ago


I have no idea who the man was but my sympathies go to his loved ones. I am no fan of fighting. Sadly many people under estimate the desert. Yes there is much beauty in the barren ruggedness but there is more danger than most realize. I find it sad that some are blaming his friends for not going with him. There is something called common sense and something called responsibility for ones self. Evan was a grown man. he chose to go into the desert where the temps were at 114 degrees. He paid with his life. I am sure he had an agonizing death, which was completely needless. May his soul rest in peace.

2198 days ago

Black Teef    

One word: moron.

2198 days ago


Tragic. Yes. Stupid. Yes.

2198 days ago

your mother    

He was planning on spending an extended amount of time in the desert and ran out of water on his very first day? Sounds like a Darwin Award candidate to me.

2198 days ago


Steve irwin the crocodile hunter's 8 year old daughter Bindi could outsmart this dimwit!

2198 days ago
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