Sunday, September 25, 2022

Kurt Angle Recalls Nearly Signing With The UFC On Two Separate Occasions

During a recent interview, pro wrestling star and former Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle revealed just how close he came to entering the world of mixed-martial-arts.

Angle, who appeared on Ariel Helwani’s “The MMA Hour” at recently, spoke about meeting with every top promotion in the sport a few years ago.

“I’ve had meetings with them all in MMA,” said Angle. “World Series, Elite XC, twice with UFC. Whether it was the money or the timing wasn’t right, it didn’t happen. I considered going until I turned 42.”

The first time Angle toyed with the idea of an MMA run was after an incident in WWE where a up-and-coming MMA star named Daniel Puder caught Angle in an armbar during somewhat of a “shoot” match while trying out for the WWE on their “Tough Enough” reality contest.

“When I did that thing with Dan Puder, I couldn’t even do five pushups, my neck was so bad,” Angle remembered about the 2004 incident. “He caught me with an armbar. Thank God he pinned himself. It was a wrestling match, not an MMA fight, but the thing is he had me.”

“Dana wanted to go with it,” Angle added. “Not that I’d say Daniel Puder would be an easy fight, but I don’t think he’d have been a problem, and it was big money. But I’d just signed with TNA three days earlier.”

Angle continued, “When I met with Dana White, he wanted me to quit wrestling entirely, but I had just signed with TNA. I met with Dana the same week and he said I needed to quit wrestling. I couldn’t tell [TNA President] Dixie Carter I wanted to back out.”

“The second time I met with Dana, I took the physical,” Angle recalled. “He wanted me to do The Ultimate Fighter with Kimbo [Slice]. He was great. He was willing to pay me a good bit of money to be on the show. But he wanted me ready in four-and-a-half weeks. It just wasn’t in the cards.”

“I think it would have been great TV,” Angle added. “He was willing to sign me to a six-fight deal after the show, but he wanted me on the show. But it wasn’t going to happen in four-and-a-half weeks.”

As far as the chances of making the transition now? Angle made it clear that the ship has sailed.

“I wouldn’t even think about doing it now, unfortunately. I don’t regret it.”

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