Kurt Angle on his three UFC offers, his real match with Brock Lesnar and how ‘DC’ would have done in WWE
Kurt Angle got on a plane in 2006 bound for Las Vegas. The former Olympic wrestling gold medalist was potentially about to embark on a new career path. He was finishing up after an excellent run with WWE that made him a prominent national name. And after a decade in pro wrestling, Angle was interested in jumping to MMA.
Angle’s manager reached out to the UFC and promotion president Dana White flew Angle out to Las Vegas to meet with him. The UFC put the wrestling star up in a penthouse suite and rolled out the red carpet for him. An offer was made during a meeting, but Angle had to turn it down.
Right before the meeting, Angle signed a deal with the wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action (TNA). It would have let him compete in MMA and professional wrestling, if he so chose to do so. But the UFC was not as flexible.
“Dana White would not let me wrestle and fight at the same time,” Angle told ESPN. “And I didn’t want to go back to TNA and say, ‘Listen, that contract I just signed is null and void.'”
That was one of three times Angle said the UFC had offered him a contract, though he never tried his hand at MMA. While he admits to always having that “what if” in his head, Angle’s achievements in athletics cannot be overstated. He’s in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and the WWE Hall of Fame. Angle was an NCAA heavyweight champion and, of course, the 1996 Summer Olympics gold medalist in freestyle wrestling, winning the title with a broken neck.
A documentary on Angle’s life will debut Sept. 2 on Peacock. He said that it covers mostly his amateur wrestling career and about “40 percent” of it is about his run in WWE. Angle was a four-time WWE champion and a Triple Crown champion, winning the top title, the Intercontinental title and the tag team belts. But nothing could top winning the Olympics, Angle said.