Ever since his debut back in 1998, Kurt Angle has been one of the best wrestlers to ever perform in sports entertainment. With a combined total of 13 heavyweight championships from WWF/E, WCW, TNA, and IWGP to his resume, Angle has proven to be one of the best, if not the best, in professional wrestling. Currently, he is settling down, though still with TNA. As a matter of fact, the Inquisitr recently reported that Angle is most likely to retire this year after his contractual obligation is fulfilled, unless WWE comes to terms with a negotiation.
However, many wonder why Kurt Angle never made that jump to MMA. There were many opportunities for Angle to do so, and even UFC offered some lucrative deals to help sway his decision. Recently, Angle has opened up on why he never joined MMA and at this point in his life, will most likely never.
According to the Bleacher Report, Kurt Angle detailed the many close calls he had to signing with many prominent MMA organizations. This was one of the major topics discussed when Angle appeared on The MMA Hour, as reported by MMA Fighting.
“I’ve had meetings with them all in MMA, 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. I wouldn’t even think about doing it now, unfortunately. I don’t regret it. 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 owner) Dixie Carter I wanted to back out.”
From what can be taken from Kurt Angle’s statement, he is stating age as the primary reason why he will no longer pursue a career in any MMA venue. Also, Angle’s body probably can’t handle the pressure of participating in a full-contact sport of such a caliber if the numerous injuries he has sustained are accounted for. This includes a broken tailbone, broken ribs, broken neck, and an array of injuries back when he trained to participate in the 2012 Olympics.
It should be noted that if MMA and UFC were as big as it is now after the 1996 Olympics, Kurt Angle might have signed on with them instead of professional wrestling. Ultimately, Angle signing on with the WWE was financially based.
“If the money was there in MMA when I came out of the Olympics, I’d have gone into MMA. But it wasn’t there until I was four years into my WWE career.”
In the end, Kurt Angle has no regrets with the professional choices he has made. Though it is sad we will never see Angle fight in UFC, he still gave us his best as “a wrestling machine.” It’s true! It’s damn true!