August 18, 2008
Evan Tanner is between UFC fights, having lost his last bout to Kendall Grove at the The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale. He's definitely not a guy who spends 365 days a year in the gym. At 37, the former UFC middleweight champ is MMA's No. 1 adventure seeker.
In his latest SpikeTV blog, he speaks of a desert adventure where if he isn't prepared properly, he may lose his life.
Being a minimalist by nature, wanting to carry only the essentials, and being extremely particular, it has been a little difficult to find just the right equipment. I plan on going so deep into the desert, that any failure of my equipment, could cost me my life. 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's blog is an interesting read but it got me thinking that Tanner's got to be the last of a dying breed. Tanner's game is built around his clinch game. He wants to maul opponents against the cage then get them to the ground. Tanner is a one-trick pony. Matt Hughes and Tito Ortiz are also power fighters. That may have worked back in 2003. Can it work today? It didn't work for Tanner against Grove, who at 25, is an evolving mixed martial artist. And it didn't work the last time out for Hughes or Ortiz.
There isn't a whole lot in the Tanner blog about training. He sounds more like a fighter from the boxing world who works in a 6-8 week camp before a fight. It seems like most of the MMA fighters today are in the gym honing their games year round. Tanner is also limiting himself in terms of the fights that he can take. It's clear that he's not a candidate if UFC calls needing a last second replacement. Can Tanner ever be a top 10 fighter at middleweight? Your heart may say yes, your head should probably say no.
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