WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle recently spoke to Chris Van Vliet about his career in the squared circle, and one of the subjects that came up was mixed-martial arts. As quoted by SE Scoops, the Olympic gold medalist revealed that he had offers to join the UFC on a couple of different occasions, only to decide not to in the end.
“Dana White gave me a great offer, he’s been really good to me. I’ve reached out to him a couple of different times and he was willing to talk to me. He gave me two separate deals two separate times and I backed out. I just knew that I couldn’t do it, I knew that if I did do it I probably would’ve embarrassed myself.”
According to Angle, his neck injuries were a contributing factor in his decision not to enter the octagon. However, the Hall of Famer believes that he would have “won the World Title” if he joined UFC prior to breaking his neck, and that he would have been really into the idea of competing in MMA if it weren’t for his medical issues.
Angle is one pro wrestler who could arguably have made a successful transition to MMA. He won a gold medal as an amateur performer at the 1996 Olympic Games, so he was already equipped with the legitimate combat sports background that’s required to succeed in the octagon.
Timing was also an issue for Angle. As he told MMA Fighting in the past, White wanted him to quit wrestling to focus on MMA. At the time, Angle had just inked a new deal with Impact Wrestling and would have felt guilty leaving the company to pursue another career.
— WWE (@WWE) April 8, 2019
While Angle would have liked to have competed for UFC, he doesn’t appear to have any regrets about the direction his career took in the end. He’s arguably one of the most popular sports entertainers of all time, having won major championships in WWE and Impact Wrestling, and having his final match at last year’s WrestleMania at the age of 50.
Now that he’s 51-years-old, Angle is past the age to succeed in UFC and MMA. However, these days he’s working as a backstage producer for WWE, a role which allows him to share his wealth of wrestling knowledge with modern stars.
During the interview, the Hall of Famer also revealed that his retirement match at WrestleMania 35 was supposed to be against Jason Jordan, but it was changed due to his storyline son getting injured in 2018.