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News flash: Tank Abbott abducted and replaced by alien robot!

Did you ever think you would see the day when Tank Abbott became politically correct? Reluctant to tell you how he feels? Unfailingly polite!?

If not, you will be as surprised as I was when I read the first part of his recent interview on Boxing Insider. Here are some . . . errr . . . highlights: Starting with current events, what is your opinion on Tim Sylvia giving up the heavyweight title? Do you think the situation was handled fairly? What is your opinion on that?

Tank Abbott: Man, I don’t have much of an opinion on it…

. . . How do you feel about Randy Couture representing the UFC as champion?

Tank Abbott: I like it. I think he’s skilled at talking to people. He’s coming out of his shell a little bit and I think he’s doing a good job, actually.

. . . How would you compare the old management to the new management?

Tank Abbott: It’s “apples and oranges.” I mean, there’s good and there’s bad anyway you want to slice it. I don’t know how to explain it. They’re both fine people. Neither of them ever crossed me or made me mad.

. . . OK. Can I ask you about WCW now? My first WCW question is: how would you compare Eric Bischoff to Dana White?

Tank Abbott: I don’t even know if that’s a comparable thing. Once again, it’s apples and oranges. That’s like saying… basketball and football. You know, they’re two completely different animals. They’re both cool guys. I’ve got nothing wrong to say about either one of them.

Even Tank’s comments about Tito Ortiz seemed unusually mellow: The next couple of questions are about Tito Ortiz. Where exactly does the beef between Tito Ortiz and Tank Abbott come from?

Tank Abbott: Oh, brother! Where does it come from? I don’t know if there’s a “beef” between the two of us . . . I’m a real straight-up guy and Tito is not (laughs) . . . I guess that sums it up in a nutshell. It’s really futile to get into specifics, but I’m a straight-up, tell-it-the-way-it-is honest guy — and that goes through my character, the thread of my life — and Tito is not. Can you tell us about, as he put it, your “drunken phone messages” to him?

Tank Abbott: I don’t even know Tito’s phone number, so that will tell you right [there] about [how much I know] I’m a truthful guy and he is not. But if I did know his phone number, he wouldn’t have to worry about drunken or non-drunken phone messages I’d leave him.

So all Tank has to say about Tito is that Tito is not a straight-up guy? What happened to the Tank we used to know and love? He is the man who had to stop watching a highlight of his beating up Paul Varelans because it was giving him a hard-on. The fighter who laughed and made funny faces when he KO’d John Matua into a seizure. The in-your-face guy who got plastered on his own PPV special and talked mess about anyone and everyone. The fighter who talked like a pro-wrestler, but acutally meant everything he said.

Hopefully, he is just saving his energy for Cabbage at the next UFC. I would hate to think that Tank really has mellowed as much as it seems from this interview.

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