Legendary cutman Leo Tabbs retires

source: The Underground

Sad 4 me 2 announce my cut man Leon Tabbs has retired!! Its been a great ride thanks mr leon

The first official cutman for the UFC, Tabbs had a long career in the boxing world, decades before he could be seen applying grease, checking gloves, and stemming blood in the Octagon.

Tabbs got his start learning to box at age 13 to keep a local bully at bay. He won the Silver Gloves in Philly, and a NJ amateur title at featherweight, in 1947.

Pro career aspirations were shelved when Tabbs was drafted for the Korean War. Serving as a Navy medic for eight years, Tabbs kept boxing and started training servicemen. He then settled in Philly, and served as a police officer. He continued training fighters, when he was noticed at Joe Frazier's gym, and got a part in Rocky I.

He worked with too many fighters to name, including Bernard Hopkins, before settling into a years-long worldwide tour with the UFC.

A cancer survivor, at 80 Tabbs has finally retired. We wish him a long and enjoyable retirement, and know that in time, if angels bleed, it won't be for long.


Fellow UFC cutman Rob Monroe

From: Rob Monroe
Member Since: 8/28/10
Posts: 11

Leon Tabbs is the Godfather of MMA cutmen. The original cutman from UFC 1... The last show he worked was a few weeks ago at UFC in Atlantic City. I had the honor working that show with him, but never knew he was calling it quits. He came back to the cutman room from working a prelim and he told fellow cutman Rudy Hernandez that he had done enough. We both thought he meant he had done enough for that night. But he meant he had done enough for ever. He said "Ive had a good run" it was only then we realized he was actually done for good. He wants to spend time with his family. He has spent the better part of his life on the road. He was super excited to go to the Olympics and watch boxing. Thats where he is now.

I know I can speak for all the ufc cutmen. We all want him back for a "curtain call" I know it was hard for Stitch because Stitch was not in Atlantic City for Leons final fight. We had back to back shows in Brazil and Atlantic City that weekend and Stitch was in Brazil...

He absolutely deserves to be in the UFC Hall of Fame. He is a legend and one of the most good natured up beat guys ive ever met in my life. Working alongside of him always gave me a feeling that I had made it to the big time. Im next to Leon Tabbs!

Read entire thread...

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Recent Comments »

cool hand Ed site profile image  

7/30/12 11:08 AM by cool hand Ed

I met him at the airport after the Montreal UFC. Talked for 45 minutes, super nice guy. I wish him the best.

jjj2121 site profile image  

7/30/12 11:04 AM by jjj2121

 I read about this a couple weeks ago, Bernard Hopkins was telling some boxing writers that Leon had retired...Leon was The Executioner's longtime cutman. Congrats on a great career and enjoy retirement!

Kostakio site profile image  

7/30/12 8:05 AM by Kostakio


OUTCOLD site profile image  

7/30/12 7:43 AM by OUTCOLD

True legend of the sport

ANT_P1989 site profile image  

7/30/12 7:17 AM by ANT_P1989

WOW! Talk about a great career! He's been around combat sports for over 50yrs!?!?A toast to the career of Leon Tabbs. *tips champagne glass to the UG and Mr. Tabbs*

Sergio88 site profile image  

7/30/12 4:27 AM by Sergio88

Happy Retirement Leon thanks for the contribution you've done to combat sports.....enjoy your retirement.

Spankenstyne site profile image  

7/30/12 4:16 AM by Spankenstyne

 Wishing him all the best in his well earned retirement. A true legend of the sport & for sure deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Dana make it happen!

Jumkah site profile image  

7/29/12 10:36 PM by Jumkah

Thank you sir

SMS89 site profile image  

7/29/12 10:16 PM by SMS89

You've never heard of Leon Tabbs?Have a happy retirement Mr. Tabbs

Nodeaj site profile image  

7/29/12 8:12 PM by Nodeaj

Wow, I always wondered where he was recently... Hope he has a great retirement and completes his bucket list