MMA Bad Boy Profile Vol. I: Tank Abbott

Brett FulmoreCorrespondent ISeptember 9, 2008

David "Tank" Abbott

Debut: July 14th, 1995 - UFC VI.

Arguably the first bad boy of the UFC, the man affectionately known as Tank gained notoriety for his devastating punching power, raw aggression and his outspoken candor with a microphone in front of his face.

He was simply a fat, drunken loud-mouth who loved to fight, and as long as he made enough money to grab some Burger King and a few Old Milwaukee tall boys (roughly 15) on the way home, he was satisfied.

If you're searching for proof of Tank's bad-ass-ness, look no further than his initial tilt inside the octagon. Matched up against John Matua, a 400 pound Hawaiian fighter, Abbott absolutely destroyed the over-matched islander—knocking him completely stiff with a bomb of a right hand. As Matua's frozen corpse hit the ground, Tank jumped on top off of him and delivered more punishment before John McCarthy could intervene.

While most human beings with a soul would be somewhat concerned that they may have just killed a man, Tank seemed genuinely pissed that he couldn't continue beating on his skull. Throw in the fact that Abbott then mocked Matua as he lay convulsing on the ground and you have a pretty good picture of what the Tank Abbott era was all about.

Abbott fought some of the sport's biggest names during his initial run in the UFC (Oleg Tektarov, Dan Severn, Don Frye, Vitor Belfort, Pedro Rizzo) but lacked the proper training and discipline to ever pose a real threat.

I suppose carrying around a beer belly the size of Royce Gracie didn't help either. Abbott's lack of success against top-tier competition did not deter him from running his mouth, as Tank still holds some of the more memorable soundbytes in the UFC's history. After losing to Frye in the finals of the Ultimate Ultimate event in 1996, Tank was asked if he respected his opponent.

"No," he deadpanned. "I don't respect anybody."

Following a knockout loss to Rizzo in 1998, Tank would enter the world of professional wrestling after signing with WCW. When he finally returned to the sport in 2003 to face Frank Mir, it was clear that the rapidly evolving game of MMA had left Tank in the dust.

He's compiled a 1-8 record since that time, thrown out accusations that Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock are on steroids, and most notably lost at the hands of Kimbo Slice this past February, where he was turned into a goatee'd punching bag before Slice finished off the job at just 0:43 seconds of the first round.

Nevertheless, Tank was one of the original stars of MMA, and arguably the prototypical bad guy—his impact will not be forgotten. Ask John Matua.

If there's a certain MMA Villain that you'd like to see profiled, feel free to drop me a line whether it's in the comment section or via my profile.