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In his first 4 UFC tournament appearances, Abbott advanced at least 1 round in all of them.

Abbott is mainly known for the countless street fights that he has engaged in, rarely losing, and also has experience in boxing.While working at a liquor store to help pay for his college tuition, Abbott encountered a "smart-ass" customer.Abbott beat the customer severely, and the customer, who turned out to be a son of a detective, pressed charges for assault.Abbott spent six months in jail, the judge saying "Mr. I'm surprised you haven't killed somebody." Abbott started his career in mixed martial arts when he applied to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for its event UFC 6 Clash of the Titans in Casper, Wyoming.He was put in contact with UFC management by his friend and future manager Dave Thomas, who described him as an experienced street fighter.

This inspired Art Davie to compare him to the character of "Tank Murdock" from the 1978 Clint Eastwood movie Every Which Way but Loose, which enocuraged him to give David the nickname of "Tank Abbott" and the billing of a "pit fighter." Abbott made his debut in 1995 at UFC 6 as scheduled.In his opening fight, he knocked out the Hawaiian fighter John Matua, who weighed 400 lb, in just 18 seconds.He further solidified his background by mocking Matua's convulsions after the knock out.David Lee "Tank" Abbott (born April 26, 1965) is an American mixed martial arts fighter, former professional wrestler, and author.He currently hosts his own podcast series titled "The Proving Ground with Tank Abbott." Abbott is perhaps best known for being an icon in the early stages of mixed martial arts and the UFC, but has also competed in the PRIDE Fighting Championships, Strikeforce, Elite XC, and Cage Rage.He has described his fighting style, which he developed brawling in the bars and streets of Huntington Beach, California, as "Pit Fighting".