Tank Abbott’s Terrifying Debut Featured in ‘Ultimate Ultimate Knockouts’

Ultimate Ultimate Knockouts, a DVD collection of the all-time greatest K.O.’s in UFC history, hit stores today. Among the fighters featured are Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, Andrei Arlovski, Matt Hughes and Matt Serra, but the most frightening knockout on the disc comes from David “Tank” Abbott’s jaw-dropping debut against John Matua at UFC 6. Looking at Matua — a 400-pound beast who, as Michael Buffer manages to say with a straight face, is “a practitioner of Kuialua, the brutal Hawaiian art of bone-breaking” — you’d think he’d be the favorite against the beer-bellied Abbott. But Abbott makes his presence known immediately, punching Matua so hard that he ends up in an Awakenings-style paralysis, and then mocking him for it.

These days, Tank Abbott is seen as a relic of simpler times, when strikers couldn’t be bothered with learning how to grapple. He’s lost seven of his last nine fights (including once to Frank Mir). But on that night…he was brilliant.