Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner (32-6 MMA, 11-4 UFC), an ultra-popular MMA veteran who hasn't fought in 14 months, will likely make his much-anticipated return to the Octagon at UFC 76 in late September, according to a UFCjunkie.com (www.ufcjunkie.com) source associated with the event.
The fight is far from confirmed and an opponent is not yet known, but we're told that the Sept. 22 event, which takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., will "likely" include Tanner on the fight card.
Tanner, who hasnâ€™t fought in the UFC since defeating Justin Levens via submission at UFC 59 more than a year ago, recently stated he was returning to training full-time in hopes he could recapture his belt.
Tanner defeated David Terrell at UFC 51 to win the UFC middleweight championship, but he was TKO'd by Rich Franklin in his very next fight at UFC 53. He suffered a subsequent loss to David Loiseau at UFC Fight Night 2, and after the win over Levens, disappeared almost completely from the sport.
The two-time Texas high school state wrestling champion made his Octagon debut at UFC 18. At 11-4 over eight years in the Octagon, the 36-year-old is one of the UFCâ€™s winningest and most-veteran fighters.
Earlier today, we passed along a report stating that Mike Swick is also expected to be on the UFC 76 fight card.
I hope that training with Chute Boxe USA finally gets Evan over the hump..