WWE Hall Of Famer Kurt Angle has discussed turning down Dana White and the UFC twice saying his catalogue of injuries played a part in never entering the world of MMA.
Several stars have made the jump between the world of MMA and professional wrestling throughout the years. Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock blazed the trail for fighters turned wrestlers in the nineties. More recently the likes of CM Punk, Jake Hager, and Bobby Lashley have fought in both arenas. Arguably the most successful pair to ever make the switch is Brock Lesnar and ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey. Both held UFC gold as well as holding the top prizes on offer to them in WWE.
Speaking to Fightful’sSean Ross Sapp, the Olympic gold medallist Kurt Angle revealed that he could have added his name to that list after he left WWE in 2006. Instead, Angle opted to stay in the world of pro wrestling with TNA.
Angle explained why:
“It got pretty serious in 2006 after I left WWE. I flew out to meet with Dana White. He offered me a contract. It was a really good contract and at that time, I’d just signed with TNA. I didn’t want to ruffle the feathers by telling TNA, ‘Listen, I’m gonna go MMA.’ Because Dana White, when I signed my deal with TNA, said, ‘Well, you can’t do both. You have to do one or the other. You can’t do both.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m going part-time in TNA. I can do both.’ He said, ‘I can’t have you do both. I need you full time.’”
“So, I had to decide and I’d already signed with TNA. So, it was like, oh well. I might as well continue. In the back of my mind I was saying to myself, ‘I broke my neck five times already. I know my strength isn’t at 100%. My upper body strength, I lost about 40% strength in my arms, my shoulders. I have trouble with motor skills in my fingers.’ So, my neck was probably the reason why I didn’t follow through with MMA.”
Kurt Angle then discussed getting a second bite at the cherry some years later after his first negotiation. By then though the four-time WWE Champion felt his time had passed:
“In 2010, I went back to Dana and he offered me another contract. But when I sat home and thought about it, at that point I was forty years old. I knew that my body wasn’t gonna hold up for MMA. So, I turned down the contract again, unfortunately. I feel bad. Going out and seeing Dana White again. He invited me out again and offered me another deal and I actually turned it down, unfortunately. But I think I made the right move.”