MMA fighter, and former UFC middleweight champ Evan Tanner died yesterday at age 37.
From a fighting aspect, I always liked Tanner's style. He would stand in the pocket with anyone, and was always very relaxed on the ground, not leaping at the first chance to try and take someone's back, but rather patiently looking to extend the punishment before opponents retreated to their guard. Unfortunately as he got older, it was his younger, quicker opponents getting that big shot in during the stand up exchanges.
He was likely just as well known in recent years for his Internet presence. I remember T-Bone showing me Tanner's gallery of hilarious MySpace photos (no longer there), and Tanner would go on to be a pretty prolific blogger. His posts were often painfully personal, some detailing his struggles with alcohol, but always somehow positive as well. In addition to regular MySpace posts he frequently updated his own Web site with news of his plans and projects, and worked as a regular blogger for Spike TV. His honesty and good-naturedness might have won him more fans than his fighting, actually.
His early death would be tragic no matter the cause, but I was at least glad to see it was nothing related to his personal demons. He enjoyed exploring the outdoors, something I'm not surprised he enjoyed considering his life outlook and recent Grizly Adams appearance. RIP.
In other MMA news, Chuck Liddell sat at one of the featured tables during one of tonight's World Series of Poker broadcasts. Acting as if he just learned to play hours previous, he somehow still took a big pot off a pro Mark Seif (Seif's fault) and caught a lucky two-pair in a hand he should not have been in, but was bounced when his (lack of) skill caught up to his luck and he went all-in when he should definitely not have.
Oh, and Phil Helmuth came in dressed as Patton, or something. And while he said he wanted to go to Afghanistan to visit the troops, there was apparently no reason for the uniformed entrance. Unless I missed something while watching the Phillies. It was humorous, though.
Oh oh, and Phil Laak was disguised as an old man, in a Spike Jones-style make-up job. Again, for no reason.
When all you do is play poker, I guess it helps to liven it up once in a while.