Kurt Angle in the UFC?
WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle opened up about prior negotiations with the UFC and transitioning to MMA on Friday’s episode of Talk is Jericho. It has long been speculated as to how the Olympic wrestler turned professional wrestling superstar would have fared in mixed martial arts.
Despite never making the move, here’s how Angle says it went down:
“When I was serious about fighting, which was right around ’98, right before I got to WWE, [UFC] offered me a deal, it was 10 fights for $150,000, and I was like ‘are you nuts?!’ They’re like ‘well this is the most we’re paying everyone,’ and I’m like ‘well then I’m not doing it.’ So I started in WWE and all of the sudden UFC explodes, and now guys are getting millions.
“I did talk to Dana White in 2006 and in 2010 — I flew out and met with him both times. The issue was, first of all, we couldn’t get a starting date. He wanted me ready in four and a half weeks for one fight, which was not gonna happen. I thought I needed three to six months. But I was also in denial. I don’t have the strength I had before I broke my neck in 2003, and breaking it several times in two and a half years didn’t help. I can bench 185 pounds, and for a man that weighs 220, that’s not good. I do have strength in my upper body, and it’s more of a wrestlers’ type of strength, I can’t life heavy weights. My legs are strong as hell and so are my hips. But with the severe neck injuries that I had, I couldn’t get in the Octagon. I would get embarrassed. And it wouldn’t be knockouts and stuff, it would be they would get a hold of my arm and they would rip it off, because I don’t have the strength to protect myself.
“I never really seriously decided to do it. The only time I did was when Dana White wanted me to be a part of The Ultimate Fighter with Kimbo Slice. He didn’t want me to fight Kimbo, but he wanted me to be on the show with Kimbo, and he was gonna pay me a s**tload of money to do it, and I was okay with that. But he also wanted me to be ready in a month, and I was like ‘Dana, can I train a little bit?’ And he was like ‘well the show starts in a month,’ and I said ‘well I can’t do it.’ I would’ve done that, but as far as going in and competing with these top fighters with the way my neck [is], and the strength in my arms, it would’ve been dumb.”