It is with sadness that we report former UFC champion Evan Tanner has passed away in the California desert, according to multiple sources including an official statement by the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Tanner had written about his planning a serious trek into the desert, last month at his blog on Spike’s website.

“It was motivated by my friend Sara’s talk of treasure hunting and lost gold, and my own insatiable appetite for adventure and exploration. I began to imagine what might be found in the deep reaches of the untracked desert. It became an obsession of sorts.

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.”

Authorities had been notified due to concern by friends after they had not heard from Evan. Imperial County Sheriff’s sergeant Clint Erro stated on Saturday that a search party had been deployed which included efforts from the sheriff’s department rescue team, US Border Patrol, the Highway Patrol, and the Marines. The search for the beloved fighter and well known outdoorsman unfortunately had turned up his body, found some distance from what is believed to be his abandoned campsite. Tanner’s motorcycle and camping equipment were discovered as well.

It is unknown at this time as to the cause of this great man’s death. Rest in peace, friend.