Tank Abbott: First real UFC was #6, not #1
MMA pioneer and brawler David “Tank” Abbott argues that in UFC 1-5 Rorion Gracie organized the event to the advantage of the BJJ-trained black belt Royce, and the first real UFC was #6.
The original UFC was conceived by co-founder Rorion Gracie as a means to showcase the superiority of his family's Jiu-Jitsu. Royce was selected as someone with his slender frame beating larger fighters would make a huge impact. And it did.
By contrast, Abbott came to the UFC when while on work release from jail he was employed by a printer making UFC tee-shirts, which led to him sending in an application. At the time he had a 600 pound bench press, massive beer gut, and his martial arts experience consisted of five years of boxing and well over 200 street fights.
“That was the first real UFC – 6,” said Abbott. “The Gracies, they actually started the whole show. But they had no longer had anything to do with it (at UFC 6). “It was not a conflict of interest for them anymore. That's why they didn't fight in UFC 6.
“That's why all the fighters weighed 100 lbs more than anyone else the next time. They didn't get to pick. So it was the first real UFC, that went down without a conflict of interest. So UFC 6 is actually UFC 1.”
UFC 6 took place on July 14, 1995 at Casper Events Center, in Casper, Wyoming
Attendance was just 2,700, but the PPV buyrate was a solid 240,000. Dan Severn guillotined Ken Shamrock in the main event, and Oleg Taktraov beat Tank via choke in at 17:45 of there are no rounds. It was each fighter's third fight of the night.
Abbott also had contrary words for fellow Huntington Beach, CA fighter Tito Ortiz.
“I used to beat Tito up and make him cry weekly,” said Abbott. “He didn't like if I wrestled with him too rough… Tito is the furthest thing from a warrior. It's disgusting to think that he could even get a step ladder and trim my toenails.
“Don't call me 'The People's Champ', I am the original Huntington Beach Badboy.”
Abbott then made a pointed allegation.
“I don't want to get into a tirade,” he said. “But I'm pretty sure that Tito's been to jail more than 30 days at a time for stealing other people's property. You can look it up, in my opinion he is a thief and a scumbag.”