Evan Tanner (32-8, 11-5 UFC) is one of the true pioneers of the sport of mixed martial arts. The two time Texas state wrestling champ initially began learning mma through instructional videos, teaching himself.
Evan started his career in the now defunct USWF, submitting three fighters including former UFC Heavyweight fighter Paul Buentello in one night. After the tournament, Tanner defended the USWF heavyweight belt 7 more times throughout his career, last defeating Travis Fulton in 2000.
In Pancrase Tanner had a 5-1 record, becoming the first American to win the Neo Blood Tournament, defeating Pancrase and Pride veteran Ikuhisa Minowa, Kousei Kubota and UFC fighter Justin McCulley.
Evan Tanner will be best remembered for his run in the UFC. Tanner started with a submission and two TKO victories working his way into a title shot. Tito Ortiz ended those hopes with a vicious slam. Tanner was able to bounce back, submitting Homer Moore, TKO'ing Elvis Sinosic and getting a decision over Chris Haseman. After a loss to Rich Franklin, Tanner won twice in battles with Phil Baroni. His triangle choke victory over Robbie Lawler was a thing of beauty as he worked the move like a guy who had been practicing the move for the 15 years.
Evan Tanner's finest moment came when he defeated David Terrell for the Middleweight Title. Evan showed heart and warrior spirit fending off a deep guillotine choke eventually raining down punches on Terrell for the ground and pound win earning the UFC MW Title.