UFC Veteran Tank Abbott Says He ‘Died 5 Times’ on Operating Table During Liver Transplant

By Tristen Critchfield Dec 12, 2018

UFC icon David Abbott recently had a harrowing experience on the operating table, as a liver transplant nearly took his life.

“I finally got caught up with all my wild life and blew a gasket on my liver,” Abbott said in an interview with The Hannibal TV. “But I got a nice transplant and everything’s moving right along.”

The 53-year-old Huntington Beach, Calif., native said he lost 100 pounds and spent 107 days in the intensive care unit during the process. That wasn’t even the worst of it.

“I died five times on the table. I had over six strokes. I’m still here though,” Abbott said. “I came back through it all, fighting. It was the hardest the fight I ever had. But I’m here.”

Abbott is best known for an 18-bout UFC tenure that included fights against the likes of Frank Mir, Vitor Belfort, Don Frye, Pedro Rizzo and Dan Severn, among others. He also competed for Pride, EliteXC, Strikeforce and King of the Cage over the course of a 25-bout career. Abbott last fought at King of the Cage “Fighting Legends” in April 2013, losing to Ruben Villareal by second-round TKO.

The former knockout artist seems to have a positive outlook on his future following the near-death experience.

“I’ve been out of commission a little bit,” Abbott said. “I’m getting fired up again to go out and do things that I love to do, my passion. And that is to kick ass.”


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