"I've been having some serious health problems for a while now," Tanner wrote on his Spike TV blog today. "They've caused me some problems in my daily life and have seriously affected my training. I obviously haven't been the same guy in the ring."
In the follow-up to his loss in March to Yushin Okami, in which Tanner was returning from a two-year competitive absence, Tanner took on season three winner Kendall Grove last Saturday at "The Ultimate Fighter 7" finale. Tanner had difficulty with the younger and more lengthier opponent and lost the split decision.
Tanner compiled a remarkable record of 31-4 from April 1997 up to his UFC title win in February 2005, but has gone 1-4 since. If he sees himself as a shadow of his former self, Tanner says he is unwilling to keep his fight career going.
"I'm going to be taking a little time off to see a doctor. If we can't get this health issue figured out, I'm done, I'm retiring. I don't want to step back into the Octagon unless I'm 100%, and I can give the fans the type of fight they deserve to see."
Fortunately, Tanner is optimistic, saying "I don't see it coming to that though. Tomorrow I'm hopping on the bike, and riding up to Oregon to visit the good doctor. I've got a good feeling about things."