Kurt Angle on his three UFC offers, his real match with Brock Lesnar and how ‘DC’ would have done in WWE

Kurt Angle obtained on a aircraft in 2006 certain for Las Vegas. The previous Olympic wrestling gold medalist was probably about to embark on a brand new profession path. He was ending up after a wonderful run with WWE that made him a distinguished nationwide identify. And after a decade in professional wrestling, Angle was thinking about leaping to MMA.

Angle’s supervisor reached out to the UFC and promotion president Dana White flew Angle out to Las Vegas to satisfy with him. The UFC put the wrestling star up in a penthouse suite and rolled out the pink carpet for him. A suggestion was made throughout a gathering, however Angle needed to flip it down.

Proper earlier than the assembly, Angle signed a take care of the wrestling promotion Whole Nonstop Motion (TNA). It could have let him compete in MMA {and professional} wrestling, if he so selected to take action. However the UFC was not as versatile.

“Dana White wouldn’t let me wrestle and struggle on the similar time,” Angle advised ESPN. “And I did not wish to return to TNA and say, ‘Pay attention, that contract I simply signed is null and void.'”

That was one among 3 times Angle stated the UFC had supplied him a contract, although he by no means tried his hand at MMA. Whereas he admits to at all times having that “what if” in his head, Angle’s achievements in athletics can’t be overstated. He is within the Nationwide Wrestling Corridor of Fame and the WWE Corridor of Fame. Angle was an NCAA heavyweight champion and, after all, the 1996 Summer time Olympics gold medalist in freestyle wrestling, profitable the title with a damaged neck.

A documentary on Angle’s life will debut Sept. 2 on Peacock. He stated that it covers largely his newbie wrestling profession and about “40 p.c” of it’s about his run in WWE. Angle was a four-time WWE champion and a Triple Crown champion, profitable the highest title, the Intercontinental title and the tag group belts. However nothing may high profitable the Olympics, Angle stated.

“I need individuals to recollect me as synonymous with the Olympic gold medal,” he stated.

Proper after he gained the medal, Angle stated, was the primary time the UFC contacted him. Semaphore Leisure Group (SEG) owned the promotion at the moment. Zuffa, led by White, Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, acquired the UFC in 2001. Again in 1996, the UFC was not the multi-billion greenback firm it’s now. Angle stated he was supplied $150,000 to compete — however that was over the course of a 15-fight contract.

“I really like combating, however I do not like it that a lot to get my butt kicked for 15 grand [per fight],” Angle stated with fun. “So, I made a decision to go to WWE and after I obtained there, I had a lot success early on. After which UFC began changing into mainstream within the early 2000s, and that is after I was having a stellar profession in WWE, profitable world championships, beating The Rock for the world championship, beating ‘Stone Chilly’ [Steve Austin] for the world championship. And I believed, ‘Man, I might like to struggle, however I already had this nice profession happening proper now.'”

Issues did not work out in 2006 on account of his state of affairs with TNA. However when he was carried out with that promotion, Angle and the UFC spoke once more. There was a plan for Angle to compete on The Final Fighter actuality present in 2009, a season of heavyweights that included the cult favourite Kimbo Slice. Angle stated the UFC supplied him $500,000 to do the present, promising a UFC contract thereafter.

However Angle was 41 years outdated by then and had damaged his neck 5 occasions, together with 4 occasions in a two-year stretch in WWE.

“I began coaching for it a bit bit and I noticed, ‘I am previous my prime, I am unable to do that,'” Angle stated. “So, I needed to flip it down. However I am very grateful for the gives Dana White gave me. He’s an unbelievable particular person.”

White stated in 2011 that Angle actually wished to struggle within the UFC, particularly after Angle’s good friend and fellow newbie wrestling champion Brock Lesnar made the transfer and have become heavyweight champion in 2008.

“We labored out a deal, he wished do it [and] he did not go the medicals,” White advised reporters again then.

Angle and Lesnar knew one another very properly. The 2 labored collectively usually in WWE. Early on, within the early 2000s, Angle stated the 2 ended up tangling in an “impromptu” actual wrestling match in a WWE ring earlier than a present. Lesnar was speaking some gentle trash backstage and Angle stated he challenged him to a match. After Lesnar was performing some wrestling sparring with Paul “The Huge Present” Wight earlier than a present, Angle slipped into the ring and the 2 went at it. Angle stated it was very shut, however he took Lesnar down twice whereas Lesnar didn’t take him down.

“I used to be simply proud that I used to be in a position to get in that ring with a 310-pounder after I weighed 215 and I used to be in a position to maintain my floor with him,” Angle stated.

In 2008, Angle had an oblique influence on the world of MMA. When standout newbie wrestler Daniel Cormier was ending up on the Olympic Coaching Heart after being on the U.S. Worlds or Olympics group six occasions, he requested Angle for recommendation on his future. Cormier had been a pro-wrestling fanatic since he was a toddler in Lafayette, Louisiana. However MMA was taking off and Cormier beloved to compete. Cormier wasn’t positive if he ought to attempt to get into WWE or the UFC.

Angle advised him to do the true stuff first, to enter MMA. He may at all times attempt professional wrestling later. Cormier adopted Angle’s steerage and have become a UFC heavyweight and light-weight heavyweight champion — on the similar time — the primary and solely fighter to ever accomplish that feat.

Cormier, now 44 years outdated, by no means ended up having a match for WWE, although he has made appearances. Angle stated he would have been glorious in that realm, too.

“He is an entertainer, man,” Angle stated of Cormier. “He is, what would you name it? Click on bait. This man, he says stuff and the media picks it up. I believe he would’ve been entertaining. I believe his wrestling would have been unbelievable. I believe Daniel would’ve had a stellar profession [in WWE], most likely equal to mine, I imagine.”

Angle would have seemingly been super in MMA, if he had gone in that course. Generally, he wonders what would have occurred if he had taken the UFC up on any of these three gives.

“Each now and again, it will get to me,” Angle stated. “And after I watch these fights, I am like, ‘Gosh, man, I believe I might’ve carried out fairly properly on this. Seeing Brock Lesnar, my good friend, be UFC champion and seeing Randy Couture, who I educated with for the Olympics, being UFC champion. It makes you query, did you do the fitting factor? However I look again and I say, ‘You understand what? I had a fairly stellar profession in professional wrestling.’ So, I am unable to remorse that.”

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