Archive for August, 2005
© Marc Wickert www.knucklepit.com
All photos copyright 2004 Zuffa LLC
Photography by Joshua Hedges
After the phone buzzes a couple of times, someone picks it up and horrible, deep-throated moans can be heard in the background. I wonder if I’ve rung the wrong number – possibly an S & M parlour by mistake.
Then a stoic voice answers, “Hello.” They are obviously oblivious to the tortured screams echoing through the receiver. Now I’m convinced it’s Gomez Addams on the other end. This is by no means a normal interview, unless of course you’re calling the world’s most famous street fighter, David “Tank” Abbott. Then somehow everything seems to fit into place.
After being questioned about the commotion, Tank casually replies: “Oh, I’m just watching my buddy getting cut up right now.” The conversation is punctuated by more agonising screams. “It’s Eddie. He’s got a few f**king boils or something. My buddy’s playing doctor on him, lancing him and squeezing all the shit out of him.”
At first it appears that Tank is starting to see the funny side to the situation, before it becomes more apparent that he is actually enjoying Eddie’s pain and discomfort.
No, the Eddie in question – and in excruciating pain – is not Eddie Munster, but Eddie Ruiz – one of the toughest fighters to set foot in the Octagon. Ruiz treated MMA fans to an incredibly gutsy battle when he took on Yves Edwards at UFC 43: Meltdown.
Despite Tank previously telling UFC, “Eagles may land on the same mountain but they don’t flock together – eagles fly alone,” Ruiz has shown what it takes to train and remain with Abbott.
When asking Tank if now is a good time to conduct the interview, he replies that it is fine, and that we’d better get stuck into it because he has some people coming over to train with him.
Although breaking his hand while knocking out Cabbage in Hawaii a few months ago, Abbott says his fist is fit to fight. ”It’s one-hundred percent. There’s nothing wrong with it.”
Tank has just signed a contract to go to war in PRIDE’s Final Conflict 2005, at Saitama Super Arena in Japan on August 28. This will be his first bout in PRIDE FC, and a new challenge for the man who lives by the motto, “Any time, any place.”