|06-25-2006, 12:45 PM||#1|
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Article: Taneo: The Brazilian and the Brawler
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Taneo: The Brazilian and the Brawler
By Paul j. Taneo
DAVID ?Tank? Abbot is one of the most recognizable names in mixed martial arts and the most recognizable face in MMA ? by extension, he is the most notorious past and future inmate of the Surf City, Huntington Beach jail.
In the UFC series ?Legends of the Octagon,? Tank has the distinction of being featured alongside Ultimate Fighting Championship pioneering legend Royce Gracie. While Gracie is a legitimate mythic figure in international MMA whose inclusion is a given, Tank is the bastard brother in a bastard combat sport who would whack TV producers if he was excluded.
Gracie is a stupendously gifted technical grappler who stunned fight fans by grabbing three of the first four UFC titles when ?human cockfight? generally described The Octagon event. Tank, on the other (over) hand, is (as he gleefully announces) a street fighter who lucked into a venue where he gets paid to knock people out senseless and not worry about spending the night in the slammer.
LEGENDS OF THE OCTAGON. The Legends series has Gracie and Tank looking at footages of their past fights in (and in the case of Tank, out) of The Octagon and giving insights into the hows and whys and backgrounds of the fights.
Just like any warrior spirit, Gracie and Tank maintain near invincibility even though the tapes show them getting the bad end of a beating in some matches.
Gracie especially has it bad for Ken Shamrock whom he made to tap out while being suffocated in a rear-naked choke in the very first UFC ? UFC 1: The Beginning at the McNichols Arena in Denver, Colorado on Nov. 12, 1993 but was clearly outfought by Shamrock in the first-ever UFC Superfight in the fifth incarnation of the UFC. Gracie reasons out that Shamrock came into the Superfight looking for a quick KO but when he couldn?t get it, he was content to clinch Gracie in the ground waiting for the fight to run it?s 30-minute course with five-minute extension. Since the special rules had it that no one would be declared the winner if the fight did not end in a submission or KO, Gracie alleges that Shamrock played it safe by holding on to him and controlling him but not exactly in a winning position.
Gracie did admit though that Shamrock caught him with a ?perfect? punch that caused a big mouse to form under his eye but that was all it was, a lucky solitary strike. He even thanks Shamrock for proving that he could take a punch.
In a magazine interview, Gracie used a metaphor of the fisherman unable to catch fish because the fish (Shamrock) wouldn?t bite the bait (Gracie). Shamrock replied upon hearing Gracie?s flight of literary fancy: ?What does he think of me...stupid??
Asked if he would fight Shamrock again, Gracie said there are other better fighters (like Matt Hughes? Hehehe...) out there he would be interested in and that Shamrock should win a UFC tournament first by winning three to four fights in a single night.
Whatever sort of ego matters get in the way of legends that prevent them from becoming gods, it has to be the fighter?s pride, a vital source of strength in the fight game. No matter how Gracie comes across as a bitter non-winner, his skills and contribution to the growth of MMA will never be in doubt.
As he aptly said: ?I am renting it to them,? after Mike Goldberg said that Gracie might have built the UFC house but others live there now.
As to Tank Abbott ? he is a non-paying lodger. He even punches holes in the walls of that house. Tank is the ultimate heretic in the unholy house of the holies. After almost bashing in David Matua?s head in in a mere 18 seconds in UFC 6, rendering his 400-pound opponent supine, stiff, arms and legs warding off a phantom enemy as Tank mimicked the bizarre Polynesian freeze frame, Tank rolled over another huge foe, Paul Varelans, in the next round to earn a spot in the finals against Oleg Taktarov ? the only person Tank fought in the Octagon that he describes in reverent tones.
?Oleg is a stud?I like Oleg?? The respect is well earned. The Russian judo-sambo expert is one of only two persons who made Tank say uncle while locked in a rear-naked choke. The other is Don ?The Predator? Frye in UFC Ultimate-Ultimate 1996.
Tank is one of the strongest punchers who ever (dis)graced The Octagon. He will always be remembered for that and for smirking while messing up human punching bags and for being cited as a Legend of the Octagon alongside the patron saint of MMA grapplers ? Royce Gracie.
ONLY THE STRONG. Local fight fans should have gotten their money?s worth in last night?s latest installment of ?Only The Strong Survive? at the Cebu Coliseum. MMA promotions are few and far between in Cebu but enthusiasts are lucky to have two of a kind in a span of 15 days as ?Ground and Pound? follows suit on July 8 still at the Coliseum.
TINA FEY: Maybe what bothers me the most is that people say that Hillary is a bitch. Let me say something about that: Yeah, she is. So am I and so is this one. [Points to Amy Poehler]
AMY POEHLER: Yeah, deal with it.
Bitch is the new black!!!