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Evan Tanner Found Dead in California Desert

Evan TannerFormer UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner has been found dead in the desert near Imperial Valley, California.

He was 37 years old.

According to the Imperial Valley Press an unidentified body was found on Monday in the Palo Verde mountain area near Imperial Valley.

The body was confirmed on Monday night to be that of Tanner, who quietly went missing last week.

Tanner has not had contact with his friends since Wednesday and was officially reported missing on Friday. Authorities began searching for Tanner on Saturday as temperatures in the area exceeded 114 degrees. On Sunday Tanner’s motorcycle was discovered at an abandoned campsite in the area and on Monday a body was located in the vicinity of the camp.

“I plan on going so deep into the desert, that any failure of my equipment, could cost me my life,” wrote Tanner on the adventure in August. “I’ve been doing a great deal of research and study. I want to know all I can about where I’m going, and I want to make sure I have the best equipment.”

Tanner was 32-8 in his professional career including a 10-6 mark in the UFC. He debuted in the UFC in 1999 at UFC 18 and won the vacant UFC middleweight title with a first-round TKO victory over David Terrell at UFC 51. He would lose the 185-pound title to Rich Franklin in his very next bout and after losing to David Loiseau and rebounding for a victory over Justin Levens Tanner took nearly a two-year break from the UFC before returning in early-2008. The return would prove unsuccessful as Tanner was defeated by Yushin Okami via second-round knockout at UFC 82 in March and by Kendall Grove via split decision at The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale in June.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Evan’s family, friends, and fans. RIP.

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