From a interview conducted March 20, 2001
Interviewer: I heard that when you first came out yu were pretty much self taught. Is that right?
Evan Tanner: Yeah, absolutely. I started out at a grass roots show in Texas. I really had no intention of fighting and when I did decide to fight in one of those shows I started studying the Royce and Rorion jiu jitsu videos. I had a high school wrestling background, I added some submission holds into the wrestling and was successful with it to a point. I even made it into the UFC being pretty much self taught. But the sport has evolved so quickly I realised that I was getting left behind and that to compete at this level you're going to have to have a high level team.
Interviewer: What got you motivated into doing this in the first place? I know sometimes after I finish training I do think 'why the hell am I doing this'. What got you into this?
Evan Tanner: (laughing) I think the same thing sometimes after practice 'why am I doing this, god this hurts'. I started back in Amarillo Texas. I had no intentions of fighting ever. Some friends of mine were in one of the local shows in Amarillo, I thought I'd check out the show, watch them and check it out. I guess a lot of people knew me from high school wrestling and were saying 'Evan you should do this' and I'm like 'no,no I'm way beyond that, I don't have anything to prove'. I watched the show and it really appealled to me. Later that week it was eating away at me and I was kind of arguing with myself 'no, I'm not going to do it'. Finally I decided I was going to go for it once.
Interviewer: Next thing you know you're fighting in the UFC.
Evan Tanner: Yeah. I was going to go for it once and check it out, thought maybe it would be a neat story to tell my grandkids, get some neat pictures or something. Hopefully I'll have grandkids some day. I ended up winning the heavyweight tournament in the USWF and I've been doing it ever since. Like you say, next thing I know I'm in the UFC. Never expected it, never planned it, it just took on a life of it's own.
Interviewer: It's funny how these things just happen, isn't it. Evan thanks a lot.
Evan Tanner: Thanks.
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