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January 16, 2008

Tank Abbott

Gary Shaw

Kimbo Slice

In a long-awaited, much-anticipated grudge match that figures to be an absolute slugfest, the incredibly popular pride of Perrine, Fla., and hometown hero, Kimbo Slice, will face David "Tank'' Abbott, of Huntington Beach, Calif., in the main event Saturday, Feb. 16, on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
It will be the second professional MMA fight for Kimbo, the legendary Internet street fighter and YouTube sensation who scored a smashing 19-second, first-round knockout in his Street-to-Elite debut. "With these hands I can part the sea. With these hands I feed the family,'' Kimbo said.
Tank, of Huntington Beach, Calif., is a feared knockout artist and notorious bad boy and trash-talker. A veteran who has never turned down a fight, Tank has called out Kimbo on numerous occasions, including after Kimbo's EliteXC and MMA debut in November. Tank is supremely confident he will send home Kimbo and his fans unhappy.
Tickets for a spectacular 10-bout event start at $35 and will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com and at the BankUnited Box Office at the University of Miami.

MODERATOR: We're here to discuss February 16th in Miami on Showtime featuring a main event, a long-awaited match-up between Kimbo and Tank Abbott. At this point I'd like to turn it over to EliteXC Live Event President, Gary Shaw and we'll move on from there.
GARY SHAW: Thank you everyone for being on this conference call with me, with Kimbo, with the Huntington Beach Bad Boy, Tank Abbott. We also have Ken Herschman from Showtime here with us.
This is going to be a great, great event in Florida on February 16th.
I want to thank Ken, and I want to thank Showtime for putting this on the air on premium cable network. It was originally scheduled to be on pay-per-view. But thanks to Kimbo and Tank, it's not all about ripping off fans, it's about giving the fans some great fights on television.
We're really excited about this card. Besides Kimbo and Tank, we have Antonio Silva, Big Foot, who I believe may be today the best heavyweight out in the world. Kimbo tells me that's not so, but, you know, that time will come for him as well.
He's got a big fight. He's got to get past Tank Abbott with a big reputation and a big punch.
So we're really, really excited about this. And it's going to be a great promotion. It's at the University of Miami on the arena on their campus. And doors will open at 6:00 o'clock. First fight will go on at 7:00 o'clock, and we're really excited about having everyone.
Tickets are from $35 up to $700. I appreciate everyone being on the call. I'm going to turn it over to Kimbo to say a few words. I'm going to turn it over to Tank to say a few words, and we'll get right to your questions.
So it is my pleasure at this time to not only bring up the YouTube internet sensation, but the guy that went from the streets to Elite. Two guys that are not only cage tested, but they're street certified Kimbo Slice.
KIMBO SLICE: What's up?
GARY SHAW: Tell them whatever you want.
KIMBO SLICE: That's it.
GARY SHAW: That's it. I hope you heard that, Tank. He said that's it for you and your reporters. So, Tank, take it away.
TANK ABBOTT: I'll tell you what's up. Kimbo's going to be on his back. This fight is going to last about as long as his interview opening did right there. What's up is about how long it's going to take for him to end up on his back knocked out.
KIMBO SLICE: Did you have a 6-pack or 12-pack before you said something?
TANK ABBOTT: I don't drink beer, I can afford vodka.
KIMBO SLICE: Okay, even better
GARY SHAW: Let me ask you, tank, do you honestly believe you're going to knock Kimbo out?
TANK ABBOTT: I don't see it going any other way. I can do anything I want to him, but what fun is that? I like to knock people out.
GARY SHAW: Do you think it's a short round, or do you think it's going to take a couple of rounds?
TANK ABBOTT: Doesn't matter. I can go 15 minutes holding my breath standing on my head. So it could be the 14th minute or the first minute, whenever he runs into one.
GARY SHAW: How do you feel about Florida's perceived as Kimbo's hometown, how do you feel about coming into the hometown?
TANK ABBOTT: I kind of like that. I don't like beating up people in my hometown. I like to go to their hometown, so they can see what they're all about.
KIMBO SLICE: You better wear a pad with that cup, because I'm going to have you pissing blood, homie.
TANK ABBOTT: That sounds good. That's what it's all about.

Q. Kimbo, what's it feel like to be fighting in your hometown in a sanctioned fight in front of what figures to be a sellout crowd on a Showtime telecast that begins at 10:00 p.m.?
KIMBO SLICE: It's going to be different for me. I'm cool with it. I'm comfortable with it. I'm comfortable at the crib. So I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Tank, the card is really aptly billed as street certified. For those that don't know, how did you get the nickname Tank?
TANK ABBOTT: When I was stomping around in the streets, they didn't have anything such as an MMA or cage fighting or an octagon or anything like that. And I showed up at the steps of the Ultimate Fighting and said, Hey, I want to fight. And they said you have to be a black belt or something like that.
I said I just got out of jail for beating somebody up, in fact, a cop's son. Isn't this supposed to be about fighting? And they said, yeah, but you've got to have some kind of a black belt or something. And I said that's not what I'm about. I'm about fighting in the streets.
They called me a couple days later and said we came up with this thing called Tank Abbott. It's from the Any Which Way But Loose movie from Clint Eastwood. There is a guy in there who is a street fighting legend by the name of Tank Murdock, and Clint went and fought him.
But that's where the Tank came from. And I've been stomping the streets for a long time. I tell you one thing, if Kimbo was back in my era, stomping around Orange County, California, he would have been long gone a long time ago.
KIMBO SLICE: So you didn't earn your name, your name was given to you out of grace?
TANK ABBOTT: Everybody gets their name given to them. I guess it's earned if you're a street fighting legend and you're a Tank. I guess somebody does give it to you.

Q. You're still fighting. You fought some of the best people in the world in their prime. Can you tell us what level of fighter do you think Kimbo is?
TANK ABBOTT: I will give him his props, you know. Kimbo goes out there, he's tough, he's got balls, and he's got heart. Those are things you can't teach.
But I've been swinging around wrestling rooms for over 30 years and I've been in boxing gyms for over 20, and I've been in the street a lot longer than that. You can never tell. All you can say is that Kimbo is a tough man as far as his heart and his balls and his mind, but I don't know how polished he is. So I can't give you an answer on that one.

Q. Do you want to comment on that? You're newer to mixed martial arts as an organized sport, even though you have the street fighting background, why you think you're ready to take on somebody like Tank who has been around and been in with the best for so long?
KIMBO SLICE: I'll take on anybody, you know. Everybody says I'm the new kid on the block or whatever. But it's the era. This is that era, you know what I'm saying. Being street certified mixed with MMA, mixed with Tae Kwon Do, and mixed with Jujitsu and kickboxing, mixed with wrestling, you combine that and you're going to have a type of fighter like myself. I'm not one-dimensional.
Whatever anybody wants to do, I'm down to do it. You want to take it to the ground, let's take it to the ground. You want to stand up, let's stand up. I'm down for that. That's my thing, that's what I'm about. That's how I live. That's my life.
I don't even see Tank. I'm seeing through him.
TANK ABBOTT: See, that's the kind of thing I'm talking about. Those are the kind of things you can't learn. That's not technique, that's why I can't wait to step in the ring with him.

Q. I guess both of you guys like most people don't expect this fight to go out of the first round, I guess?
TANK ABBOTT: I don't have any expectations, I don't know about Kimbo.

Q. Any expectations in how long you think this is going to go?
KIMBO SLICE: No, I don't have none either.

Q. Is there any possibility, has it entered your mind that Mr. Abbott has simply too much experience for you? He has engaged in about 25 mixed martial arts or arts fights and does have the various disciplines down. He's been doing it certainly longer than you - I don't know if he's better than you. Does any part of you think that yes, he might be too experienced for me?
KIMBO SLICE: I kind of look at it like a chick that does porn. Just because she did 100 porn scenes, that doesn't mean I'm going to be afraid to [expletive] her. I'm going to still get that pussy. That's how I look at it.

Q. You fought twice in '07, once in '06 and twice in '05: When you're not fighting, what do you do? What are you up to?
TANK ABBOTT: My hobby is drinking. I like to have as much fun as I train. When I'm training, I train. But I like to have fun also. I like to hang out at the bars and write the book that I'm doing.

Q. You're doing a book right now?
TANK ABBOTT: I've already got it written. It's about 676 pages. I'm pecking away on it right now putting it on a computer.

Q. Seriously, do you find yourself able to drink and then write? It didn't used to work for me.
TANK ABBOTT: No, it's actually a pretty nice book I've got out, yeah. 676 pages of some really good stuff. It's about my days when I was stomping in the streets about 12, 13, 14 years ago with the whole MMA scene came about.

Q. You said in your era that Kimbo wouldn't have been able to survive. Was your era on the streets so much tougher than his? Why do you say that?
TANK ABBOTT: Because there was no referee and there were no people walking around watching it. It was either you entered into a fight you assume the risk to die. You didn't have to worry about somebody as a referee stepping in and saving it.
Like I said, I've got well over 200 street fights under my belt.

Q. Your response to that, Kimbo?
KIMBO SLICE: I was smelling chicken and looking at the food. I wasn't paying tank no attention.

Q. Tank, what's the name of your book? Thanks for the memories?
TANK ABBOTT: I can't tell you. There are people out there that work for other organizations that would just love to go steal my copyright.

Q. Question for Gary, Gina Carano was originally supposed to be on the card. She dropped off. Can you tell us what happened as far as her participation in this show?
GARY SHAW: Sure, we wanted her to be on the show. She was training for American Gladiators, and at this point she wasn't ready to compete for this date.

Q. Is there any concern on your end as far as her other activities as far as interfering with her fight career? Is that something you've talked to her about?
GARY SHAW: No, we have a long-term contract with Gina. It was a great opportunity for her to be on NBC and the Gladiators and be Crush, and I think it will help her career. As soon as they're done with all the meetings that they have to do, all the PR appearances, she was just on "The Today Show" two days ago, she'll be ready to fight.
She wasn't ready in February. Hopefully, she'll be ready for our big March 29th card in San Jose.

Q. One other question was a follow-up to the back and forth you've had with Dana White, the conversation that you had and then he had with Yahoo Sports. Have you had a chance to read that commentary from Dana, and do you have any other reaction to him?
GARY SHAW: Look, no, truthfully I haven't read it. Though a lot of people have called me and press for reactions to it. All I'm saying is, and I've said it all along, there is a differentiator. If you fight for the UFC, you can't be bigger than Dana White and the UFC. If you fight for EliteXC, as a fighter, you're bigger than Gary Shaw. It's about the fighter. It's not about me.
The other thing is and you know, whether it's Kimbo who was signed to us or any other fighter, I believe we represent some of the greatest fighters in the world. I believe that Antonio Big Foot Silva could knockout any heavyweight in the UFC.
Now, I'm not disparaging the UFC. They have some great fighters and great fights. Mark Ratner's a personal friend of mine. The Fertittas are friends of mine. They have a good brand. They do a good job marketing their brand, but they don't own MMA. They just don't own the space. They have a brand.
You know what, if you hold up the belt there, all you are is the club champion. Until Dana White is willing to fight his fighters against other brands, all they are is club champions.
I extend and always have - it's like Kimbo, you want to fight him? Call us up, you can come in the cage and fight him. You want to fight Jake Shields, fight Jake Shields. We're proud of the people we represent. Robbie Lowell, I could go down the whole roster.
But for Dana White to try to convince the fans that he owns all of the best fighters in the world, well, this is just a starting point for fighters and then they're going to go to UFC, he is full of shit. Let him fight our fighters.
I tell you what, let's do some fights winner-take-all. Let's put up a million dollars purse. Let's pick a weight. Let's really get it on for the fans. When he's ready to do that, then give me a call.

Q. Kimbo, your last fight out you finished it so quick we didn't get to see a whole lot. Are you looking forward to showing everybody that ground skill and what you've been working on?
KIMBO SLICE: Yes, I'm dying for that. I'm dying to get the opportunity to show off a little stuff, you know what I'm saying? I've got a lot of tools in my arsenal now. I'm not afraid to use them. I'm getting to the point where it's like second nature, pretty much.
I'm just excited to be where I am, to get to get to bang-up Tank and make a good future and a good name for myself.

Q. Also, what does it mean to you to have your second fight in EliteXC take place in your backyard? I've got to imagine the fans are going to be going crazy for you?
KIMBO SLICE: Yeah, it's exciting. But I maintain and I'm not letting it get to me because I've got a bigger fish to fry.

Q. You've been talking about your drinking. I'm wondering what your cocktail of choice is?
TANK ABBOTT: What are you a cage potato?

Q. Yeah.
TANK ABBOTT: There you go, potato juice. I like a light Stoli with a little splash of cran.

Q. Do you plan on throwing a couple of those back before you get in the ring?
TANK ABBOTT: No, I never throw down drinks before I get in the ring. I know how to have fun, and I know how to work.

Q. Going from street fighting to MMA and your rising popularity, how has that transition been for you?
KIMBO SLICE: It's really hard -- it's not really hard to answer that. It's more skilled fighters, better fighters. I'm proving myself now, because people feel like the street fighters, the guys that I fought were pretty much like nobody's or whatever. But you never know what another guy has. You never know what type of skill the next man has. And if a guy's willing to fight you, then that says a lot. He's for sure about himself. You can't take that from nobody.
Like every fight, the best man's going to win. Who trains the hardest and who wants it more is going to win. And that's what it's about for me.

Q. We learned where Tank got his nickname from. Where did you get the name Kimbo from?
KIMBO SLICE: Kimbo has been my name since I was a kid. That's my child given name. Slice was an internet given name from my very first fight. And Slice was a given name I earned from the streets.
TANK ABBOTT: So they gave that to you?
KIMBO SLICE: It was earned.

Q. Can you tell us why the organization decided to go to Florida for this event? Was it specifically because of Kimbo being from there in and could Florida be a frequent stop for you guys?
GARY SHAW: That's a great question. Let me try to tell you why I went to Florida, K-i-m-b-o. You know, I believe that Kimbo's going to be a giant, giant star. Although I know Tank Abbott feels differently and feels that he's going to be the one to stop the success.
I thought Florida was a natural place. We looked at several different locations within Florida. I wanted to stay near where Kimbo's home is and home base is. The University of Miami has a great arena. It's the right size. I think Florida is a hot bed for MMA from Tampa/St. Pete all the way down. And I just thought it was the right venue at the right time. Showtime agreed it was the right venue at the right time and that's how we wound up there.
If we draw well enough, we'll be back. We're expecting a sellout crowd. We're looking at the American Airlines Arena as well for another fight. We've looked at the Hard Rock. I tried to get into the St. Pete Times Forum, but they were booked for a couple of dates that I have with Showtime for MMA.
But, yes, Florida is a place that EliteXC is going to hang their hat, absolutely.

Q. You mentioned earlier that you're looking through Tank, does that mean you're looking forward to your next match after him?
KIMBO SLICE: Yeah, pretty much. I'm preparing for whatever. I've trained for Tank a long time. I've been training for Tank a long time for his style. Just the type of fighter that he is. Being aggressive, hitting hard, and just coming at you know what I'm saying. I've trained well for that.
So I'm pretty much prepared to take Tank out. I'm going to change my name from Kimbo to Blackhawk. Because only a Blackhawk chopper can destroy a Tank.

Q. If you're looking past Tank, is Sean Gannon possibly one of the guys you're looking at?

Q. Sean Gannon.
KIMBO SLICE: Sean Gannon? Is that even an option?
GARY SHAW: Anything you want to do is an option.
KIMBO SLICE: I'm down for that. I want to do that bare knuckle. That fight's owed to me. I want that better than anything.
GARY SHAW: Yes, it is a possibility. One thing that I like about this fight, it went from just an MMA fight to being personal. The reason this fight got made so quickly is Kimbo said that I want Tank. I trained for pay-per-view fight, I want that fight back.
If Sean is the one that Kimbo wants and there is an -- and I know personally there is a score to be settled -- then we'll go out as a company that represents Kimbo and we'll do everything in our power we can to make that fight.
But you know my career in boxing. I've sat that at that ring a long time, and everybody predicted all the winners upfront. I think Kimbo knows this better than anybody, and I'm sure Tank knows this as an ultimate professional. You better take care of business on February 16th.

Q. Is Tank signed beyond this fight?
GARY SHAW: Yes, we have options on Tank, yes.

Q. Didn't you call Kimbo out after his fight in Atlantic City? Were you the one?
TANK ABBOTT: I don't know if you'd call that a fight. But, yeah, you know. That's what it's all about. Like I said, he's a street warrior, I'm a street warrior. It's a matter of time before we meet up. I was ready to meet up right then and there. But as it is, we're going to meet up with Showtime and Elite in Miami February 16.

Q. How much had you heard of Kimbo before the fight in Atlantic City with Mercer?
TANK ABBOTT: Not that much. I think his name came up a couple of times. I checked him out on the internet maybe lasted 20 seconds, and then I went out to the bar.

Q. Have you been impressed with anything you've seen from Kimbo in either of his two fights?
TANK ABBOTT: I haven't really seen his last fight. The fight with Mercer, I mean, not really.

Q. I guess both of you have been in a lot of street fights. I guess some for money. How did you manage that? Who kept that under control for people to get paid after it was done?
KIMBO SLICE: I'll pass on that.
TANK ABBOTT: One time I had this guy that was -- it never took place, by the way. He wanted to fight, and he was crying about the money. I said we can fight in a warehouse. He said who is going to hold the money, this is going to turn into a circus? I said, you show me your money, I'll show you my money. You put it in the front pocket, after I knock you out, I'll take it. But he didn't show up.

Q. I saw that you're in a movie called "Blood and Bone "can you tell us anything about that?
KIMBO SLICE: What do you want to know?

Q. What is your role in it? How was the experience?
KIMBO SLICE: It was cool. The experience was okay. I got my SAG card.
GARY SHAW: We have two SAG members. Now you're a union.

Q. Hope they're not writers.
GARY SHAW: No, no, he's not a writer. He's a player.

Q. Recently you've you're getting ready to put on this Tank versus Kimbo fight, and this was supposed to happen last year in Atlantic City, and it fell through and disappointed a lot of people. Last weekend we had Rico Rodriguez versus Mike Howell that was signed and not delivered. Is it an interest of yours and will you potentially pick up this fight of interest?
GARY SHAW: I don't know if it's a fight that we pick up. But we currently have Rico Rodriguez. He is signed to our brand. He's a fighter that we would definitely use. He's on our radar, for sure.
It's unfortunate that card went under. People don't realize how many cards fail in the MMA world due to different things. I'm proud that EliteXC every card that we've ever said we'd put on we do put on.
But, yes, there were fighters that were on that card that we'd be very interested in. Maybe some who were even up in this office yesterday.

Q. Other than the UFC, you're the only other promoter in MMA history to have Tank Abbott and Ken Shamrock under the same promotional banner at the same time. Their rivalry dates back years and it's well publicized. I know you like to have personal fights put on for your shows. Are you planning on ever putting on a fight between the two of them?
GARY SHAW: If it's personal, it will go. As long as there are real personal rivalries and real fights, and we can give the Showtime audience real fights.
TANK ABBOTT: Well, if it ever happens will you please make it in the contract that Ken has to shave his legs before we fight.
GARY SHAW: All right, we'll do whatever we want. You know, Tank, I have a lot of respect for you; taking on Ken and Kimbo in the same call.
TANK ABBOTT: It's safe from a phone distance, right? Sounds like most of the guys in the MMA will. But I'll step up.
GARY SHAW: We know you'll step up, and that's why you're going on Showtime against Kimbo, because we know you'll step up. The same reason I put you in against Ken and also put Kimbo in against Ken.
TANK ABBOTT: Sounds good.
GARY SHAW: Maybe eventually you and Kimbo can do Frank and Ken on a tag team match.
TANK ABBOTT: Now you're talking.
GARY SHAW: There you go.

Q. Since Tank decided he wanted to talk a little bit, I'd love to ask you the next question. Not to take away from your fight with Kimbo coming up, but since we are on the subject of Ken. You guys are here for EliteXC, but you guys had a lot of heat in the past. Has any of it cooled off? Is this guy still your nemesis? Do you still want this one?
TANK ABBOTT: Ken is the antithesis of me. You run around and show your legs and act like you're a superstar, when all you are is a clown. I like to go out and fight, and I really don't care. I don't need everything to be right or wrong or just perfect. I don't need to walk around like I'm a superstar. I'm just myself when I cruise around. I don't need to make waves.
He's the kind of guy that would go into a restaurant and say, Do you know who I am? Go tell the person that I'm here. I just hide in the back and don't care.

Q. You have Kimbo coming up, can you speak about Kimbo internet legacy?
TANK ABBOTT: Believe it or not, I don't have a computer. Actually, I got one for my book, but I'm not hooked up to the internet. So I really don't follow that stuff. Most of the people on the internet are a bunch of bozos that want to talk a bunch of smack. Probably if you could reach through the internet lines, you'd find a 16-year-old kid that hasn't been able to shave and he's telling you, hey, I can beat you up.

Q. With Tank you're facing a guy, a legendary pioneer in the sport of MMA, original UFC bad boy. What does the fight with him mean to you?
KIMBO SLICE: I'd say it means a whole lot to me. Unlike him, I've been watching Tank since I was a shorty, man. And you know what I'm saying, it sparked my interest from banging up banging from that time. So to fight a guy like him, that shit means a lot to me. That's why I can't lose, and I won't lose. Losing is not an option, especially to Tank. Beating Tank means a whole lot to me, and I'm looking forward to this fight.
I just think February 16th is a tad bit too long. But I've got to be patient. I've waited this long, you know, it's all good.
TANK ABBOTT: Sounds like cabbage is saying I'm going to pass the torch off to him. Only thing I'm passing off to him is a knockout.
KIMBO SLICE: I ain't cabbage, I'm Kimbo.
TANK ABBOTT: Who are you?
GARY SHAW: Maybe you guys want to fight tonight?
KIMBO SLICE: I'm down for that.

Q. In this year for EliteXC, you have three shows so far announced and a lot more planned. Can you tell us what your philosophy is and your view is in positioning EliteXC? What kind of identity you wanted to develop as an organization that really makes its mark in the mixed martial arts? And how you see it doing that and becoming profitable in 2008?
GARY SHAW: I know we'll be profitable because my mother and father are backing me. But on a serious note, EliteXC is all about the fighter. It's a fighter-friendly company. We care about the safety and welfare of every fighter that we represent.
We have, probably, the biggest mixed martial arts library in the world today. We have several brands around the country. We have a huge internet play that is an important part of the company that works for the fighters and works for the fans.
We have a contract with Showtime where we'll have roughly 14 fights on Showtime, and over millions of eyes this year. We have King of the Cage, a brand in the United States, probably doing more fights than any other brand in the United States. We'll do over 40 fights.
And Cage Rage in England, and icon and Rumble World, and Spirit MC, which will allow us like on January 25th, to bring Paul Daley from England and put him on Showtime in the U.S. and see those eyeballs.
It will give us an opportunity to bring Kimbo this year over to England to fight in front of all those fans, and for them to get to see, feel, smell and touch him and see how real he is.
So we have a lot of opportunities. We are growing every day. We're really excited. We think we bring the best fights. I'm not going to compare myself with any other brand, but the team that I work with -- and it's we, there is no I. It's all about we.
I believe we put on exciting events for the fans. We're event friendly in the arena. And on TV, the eyeballs that watch our fights -- a lot of people said a lot of nasty things last year about us and never thought we were going to really get off the ground. But this rocket ship launched.
The one thing we promised was we'd give the fans real fights. One thing I'm really proud of is that I represent real fighters that will fight anybody in the world. It's not well, I don't want to fight him, I don't want to fight him. Give me two fights, three fights before I fight him. The fighters we represent just want to fight. For that, I'm proud of the people that we represent.
The eyeballs on Showtime that have watched our fights have seen great fights, exciting fights. Nick Diaz against K. J. K.J. against Crazy Horse. Kimbo's quick demolition in the last show. The coming of age of Gina Carano. We haven't even shown Robbie Lawler that much, the ninja rule fight. There is so much. Big Foot Silva, I keep saying, I believe he's the single best heavyweight in the world today.
The fans are going to get to see all these fighters, not to mention all the other fighters that we have coming, in our case they're coming down stream. But we're bringing them upstream, and we're real excited. I think the fans understand those days are over. Those days are over. They're beginning to be exposed to new and young fighters. So thank you for your question.

Q. When you raise the issue of being fighter friendly, do you think things like the UFC's lawsuit against Randy Couture is going to hurt them? And do you also see the need to bring MMA contracts in line with what is required in boxing by the Muhammad Ali Act, which only affects boxing. But do you see doing that for MMA as well?
GARY SHAW: Let me comment. First of all, I won't comment on other people's lawsuits. So the Randy Couture, UFC lawsuit, that is something they'll have to battle out in the media and in the court room.
When I say we're fighter friendly, you can ask any fighter that's either won or lost that has attended one of our shows that has fought in one of our shows, and they'll tell you what it is like to fight for EliteXC. How we take care of them, how we care about them before the fight, during the fight, after the fight. What we do for them, that is a fighter-friendly company.
As far as contracts go, I don't discuss contracts. But we're basically in line with the Muhammad Ali law. We don't sign anybody for 20-year contracts. We don't have any slaves, no indentured servitude here. Fighters that fight for us because they want to fight for us because we treat them well.
I invite you, and any reporter to certainly go to any fighter that's fought for us and ask how we fight them. As a matter of fact, fighters like Griffin who is not with us, and Brendan Vera who is not with us, fighters of that ilk that have attended our shows and ask how we treat them. We treat them like the world champions that we believe all fighters are.

Q. What weight are you at right now and who are you training with in preparation for Kimbo?
TANK ABBOTT: I'm about I fluctuate between 61 and 67.

Q. What camp or group are you training with right now in preparation for this fight?
TANK ABBOTT: I just got my old friends that I've known for a long time and bang around with them. It's not really a camp or a team or anything. It's just buddies I've been banging with for a long time.

Q. Is a Ken Shamrock versus Kimbo match in the future?
GARY SHAW: Kimbo got a fight February 16th. Ken Shamrock's got a fight March 8th. So why don't you ask me that question on March 9th.

Q. In what weight is Ken going to be fighting at the Cage Rage event?
GARY SHAW: I don't know. Right now I'm told by one of the fight team members it's unspecified. But if you email me, I'll be more than happy to give you the contract weight.

Q. When are your plans to have Nick Diaz fight again for EliteXC?
GARY SHAW: I think he's fighting on the April 26th card that we're planning in Hawaii.

Q. Is there any opponent decided yet?
GARY SHAW: No, not really. You always ask those drilled down deep questions. Even if I knew, I wouldn't let you know yet. But eventually we want to give him another shot at KJ Noons. He gave KJ Noons a shot. But not right back.
He's had surgery on his eye to repair all that scar tissue, and I think that Nick needed a rest, and a long-waited rest. And I think he's doing the right thing for Nick right now. And we've encouraged him to rest as well.
GARY SHAW: As you know, I keep talking about Antonio Silva, and he's going to be fighting Gary Turner from England. And that should be a real exciting fight.
Gary fights for the Cage Rage brand. At first we said maybe you don't want to take this type of fight. He said, no, I want the fight. He emailed us, and asked for the fight, and those are the type of fights we like to put on.
We have Edwards from Texas and he's fighting Edison Berto, which is Andre Berto, the boxer's brother. So that should be another great fight. James Thompson against Brett Rogers, and Scott Smith against Kyle Noke. As you know Kyle Noke was the bodyguard for the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Erwin, so he's signed to us. He had a great win in his last fight, and he'll be back.
Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about Crazy Horse. Crazy horse is going to be opening the show. You've got two real street guys. In this one you have three. You have Crazy Horse, Tank and Kimbo. And hence the name Street Certified.
The real name of this whole fight is Cage Tested, Street Certified, so we're excited.
You're going to see a new young star that we think we have in Eric Bradley who was a wrestler in college, a great wrestler in Pennsylvania and a golden gloves boxer. That's a new name that we're bringing along that I think the fans are really going to be excited. Good looking kid with an exciting style.

Q. Tank, is there anything you can tell us about your book? Is it an autobiography? What is in the 600-plus pages?
TANK ABBOTT: My book's about, let's see, 12 years ago, it leads up to 18 months where I went to jail for beating up a cop's son. Then, got out of jail and fought in the UFC. Kind of a real-life Rocky story.

Q. Sounds good.
TANK ABBOTT: It is good, if I do say so myself.

Q. Has the final chapter been written yet though?
TANK ABBOTT: It's only 18. It ended 12 years ago, so that means there's more.

Q. Real quick, you mentioned Gary Turner, heavyweight contender over at Cage Rage. You mentioned he's fighting Antonio Silva who is currently recognized as the heavyweight champion of Cage Rage, will that be a title fight?
GARY SHAW: Yes. Yes, it will be. Let me just comment on title fights, non-title fights. I'm a fan of fighting, as long as two guys get in and fight, that's good enough for me. All my friends are champions.

KIMBO: I'm just staying tuned and be ready to check me out on February 16th.

Q. After your last fight, when you resumed training was it a continuation of what you had been working on? Are you continuing to learn different things? We know you want to showcase all the skills you say you possess. How did it play out right after that last fight as far as training?
KIMBO SLICE: We picked up where we left off and added more new stuff into my arsenal.
TANK ABBOTT: I'm looking forward to this February 16th fight. Like I said earlier Kimbo's got balls, heart, and the street mentality. I can't wait to lay my ears back and get down with him.
It's going to be fun for me. It's going to be a long night for Kimbo and a short one for me. But I can't wait. I wake up every morning and start laughing because I wish it was already February 16th.
It's not often you get to get in the cage and fight a guy that's got the street warrior to him, and I kind of look forward to that.

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