The producers of “Once I Was a Champion” -- a documentary about the life of former UFC middleweight king Evan Tanner -- recently announced the creation of a sweepstakes that will grant one fan a trip to Las Vegas to attend the film’s premiere on Dec. 28.
In addition to the aforementioned prize, the winner of the sweepstakes will also sit cage-side at UFC 155 with Tapout executive Dan “Punkass” Caldwell and receive an exclusive coaching session with an unnamed mixed martial arts fighter. Fans wishing to enter the contest may do so at either www.facebook.com/OnceIWasAChampion or Sherdog.com. Additionally, fans can text the word “champion” to 21970.
Tanner died in 2008 at the age of 37 due to heatstroke, less than three months after his final MMA fight, a split decision loss to Kendall Grove at the “TUF 7” finale. Tanner won the vacant UFC middleweight belt in 2005, stopping David Terrell with punches in the first round at UFC 51. The Texas native began his MMA career in 1997, winning 31 of his first 35 bouts before losing four of his last five.
According to the official release, “Once I Was a Champion” includes never-before-released fight scenes and features appearances by UFC President Dana White, former King of Pancrase Bas Rutten, ex-UFC middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen and onetime UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin.
“Evan’s life was incredibly complex and filled with extreme highs and lows,” said the film’s producer, Kirk Porter, in the official release. “He inspired a generation of MMA fighters around the world with his writings and his never-ending belief that one person can change the world.”