Mixed Martial Arts certainly doesn’t have any shortage of accomplished amateur wrestlers or even Olympic-level competitors. However, none have the blend of both athletic prowess and showmanship as Kurt Angle.
A former WWE champion who has called TNA his home for the past five years, Angle also won gold at the 1996 Olympic games in freestyle wrestling and is viewed as one of the greatest mat-technicians in the sport’s history. Though Angle is north of 40 now, when asked about MMA the talented grappler said he would have ended up as a fighter in unscripted bouts had the climate been different a decade ago.
“I would have done MMA if I would have known it would have blown up the way it did,” revealed Angle in an interview with MMA Uncensored (as transcribed by MMAMania). “In 1999, I joined WWE, then I went to TNA. If MMA had blown up at that time, I would have done it, full time. I would have gone into MMA.”
“But, I was so far into it, main eventing Wrestlemanias, that there was no way I could turn back. I do love pro wrestling, and I love being with TNA…but it just wasn’t the right time. The money was in pro wrestling,” Angle continued, saying he even spoke with UFC President Dana White on two occasions though neither could agree on the particulars of a deal.
Though it’s unlikely Angle will ever have an opportunity to show off his legitimate skills inside a ring, he still isn’t ready to completely write the idea off.
“I can’t say yes or no. I’m 43. I tried out for the Olympics, last year, and I kept getting injured. It’s one of those things where, I was wrestling great, I think I could have made it, but I just kept getting injured,” explained Angle. “My body’s breaking down. The answer is probably no, but if the offer is good enough, you never know.”
PHOTO CREDIT – TNA