Former UFC champion Tanner likely died of heat exhaustion

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Former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner, whose body was found in the Palo Verde mountains on Monday, is believed to have died of heat exhaustion.

Tanner had set up camp in the Palo Verde Mountains where he was on a solo trip to "cleanse" himself, according to Douglas Vincitorio of Tanner's management team at Driving Force Sports. When he stopped replying to text messages from friends, they notified authorities.

His body was spotted from a U.S. Marine helicopter a couple of days later.

In a report by, Imperial Count Sheriff's Deputy Justin Hettich said that Tanner had been carrying water bottles with him, but they and the water bottles found in his camp were empty. That fact, coupled with temperatures that soared over 110 degrees, led authorities to the likelihood that he succumbed to heat exhaustion.

The official cause of death will not be determined until an autopsy has been performed.

Tanner spent more than a decade as a professional mixed martial arts fighter and served a stint as the middleweight champion in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.