Angle is renowned for his work in the pro wrestling industry. After winning a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Angle made the transition to “sports entertainment.” He went on to have a storied career in WWE before leaving the company in 2006 to work for TNA Wrestling. Angle returned to the WWE in 2017 and wrapped up his in-ring career in 2019.
During an interview with Fightful, Angle revealed that he was in serious talks with the UFC in 2006 when he left WWE.
“It got pretty serious in 2006 after I left WWE,” Angle began by saying. “I flew out to meet with Dana White. He offered me a contract. It was a really good contract and at that time, I’d just signed with TNA. I didn’t want to ruffle the feathers by telling TNA, ‘Listen, I’m gonna go MMA.’ Because Dana White, when I signed my deal with TNA, said, ‘Well, you can’t do both. You have to do one or the other. You can’t do both.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m going part-time in TNA. I can do both.’ He said, ‘I can’t have you do both. I need you full time.’
“So, I had to decide and I’d already signed with TNA. So, it was like, oh well. I might as well continue. In the back of my mind I was saying to myself, ‘I broke my neck five times already. I know my strength isn’t at 100%. My upper body strength, I lost about 40% strength in my arms, my shoulders. I have trouble with motor skills in my fingers.’ So, my neck was probably the reason why I didn’t follow through with MMA.”
Angle went on to say that he received another offer from the promotion four years later.
“I did, in 2010, I went back to Dana and he offered me another contract. But when I sat home and thought about it, at that point I was forty years old. I knew that my body wasn’t gonna hold up for MMA. So, I turned down the contract again, unfortunately. I feel bad. Going out and seeing Dana White again. He invited me out again and offered me another deal and I actually turned it down, unfortunately. But I think I made the right move.”
How do you think Kurt Angle would have fared in the UFC?