Sports Illustrated recounts the tragic death, and whimsical life of Evan Tanner with Ethan Todras-Whitehill and Jon Wertheim's deeply personal look at the events that led up to his final trip into the desert, and just might answer a few questions that grieving MMA fans have been asking for months.
Even in a sport that sneers at convention, Tanner was a singular figure, known as much for his fierce individuality as for his fighting prowess. Before his trip, the MMA Internet subculture had crackled with speculation about why he was headed to the desert. Some cynics, noting Tanner's faltering UFC comeback after two years away from the sport, his ominous blog posts about the excursion and his longtime struggles with alcoholism, concluded that he was on a suicide mission. Others believed he was venturing into the desert for spiritual reasons...They all were wrong.
Head to SI.com for the full story.