A heavyweight co-main attraction between David “Tank”
Abbott and Mike Bourke has
been scratched from Friday’s Wargods “Valentine’s Eve Massacre” at
the Selland Arena in Fresno, Calif., confirmed State Athletic
Commission Assistant Executive Director Bill Douglas late
However, efforts are still afoot to resurrect the fight, said a rep
for the promotion.
Abbott (9-14) and Bourke (8-11-1) both reported to the event’s
official weigh-ins on Thursday, only to be turned away by CSAC
officials who said the promotion had cancelled the bout themselves
almost a week before.
“Tank Abbott was never even considered [on the card Thursday]
because as of five days ago, the promotion conveyed to us that he
was completely off the show,” Douglas told Sherdog.com late
Douglas said Wargods reps asked for the bout to be reinstated at
the weigh-ins, but the necessary paperwork was not complete.
“When Tank Abbott’s fight was dropped, we just moved on with the
card. Tank Abbott wasn’t even in my mind going into today,” said
Douglas. “I was more concerned about the matches that they were
trying to make with us last minute… We have no medicals on file for
him at all.”
Abbott, who’s lost seven of his last eight bouts since returning to
the cage in 2003, last competed in California for the Strikeforce
promotion in 2006. Douglas said today’s more stringent requirements
would have required the 43-year-old to complete the licensing
process from start to finish.
“The bottom line is you can’t be matchmaking at the weigh-ins,”
said Douglas. “I’ve been spending all day matchmaking with the
promoter and trying to help save their show. I was very flexible in
approving bouts up until that two-hour mark before the weigh-in
because I don’t want to see any shows suffer and I don’t want MMA
fans to be deprived of any bouts, so I was really bending.”
A Wargods executive, who asked not to be named, called the
situation “a misunderstanding,” and said Abbott would fight at the
event on Friday.
“We took the fight off the card and were going to replace it with
our current heavyweight champion Lavar
Johnson, who was approved to fight Ruben ‘Warpath’ Villareal,”
said the executive.
When Johnson was pulled by his management to recuperate following a
recent fight, the executive said Abbott was approached again and
“an agreement” was reached over the weekend.
The executive said he put the fight back on the roster on Tuesday,
but the commission employee assigned to supervise the event was on
vacation and couldn’t accept the request.
“We shot an email in to let them know the fight was back on, but I
don’t think the right person received it,” he said. “Obviously,
there’s a miscommunication there. We didn’t know we had to get
approval on it again. When [the fighters] showed up, [the
commission] didn’t have their file and that’s why they couldn’t
The Wargods rep also contends that all of Abbott’s paperwork,
including his medical tests, was submitted and approved in
“That fight was approved as of a month ago, but they didn’t have
the paperwork with them [on Thursday at the weigh-ins.] I guarantee
you by 10 o’clock tomorrow morning, this will all be sorted out and
Tank will be back on the card.”
When contacted Thursday evening, Abbott told Sherdog.com that the
fight was off and that he was en route back to his Huntington Beach
home, some 260 miles away from Fresno.
The promotion rep said Wargods still plans to match UFC
contemporaries Shamrock and Abbott up at a later date, although
their efforts are still focused on Friday’s event.
Of the 13 original matchups submitted, Friday’s roster has dwindled
down to eight bouts, four of which have been medically cleared as
of Thursday night, said Douglas. The main event between UFC legend
Shamrock and Ross Clifton
has been approved. Ken Shamrock Productions is also a listed
co-promoter for the event.
Douglas said he anticipated the final four bouts in question to
make their requirements in time to keep the event afloat. A ninth
bout, featuring EliteXC veteran Tonya
Evinger, was proposed on Thursday but is awaiting commission
“Massacre” will be streamed live on Sherdog.com beginning at 6:30