Kurt Angle has discussed almost entering the MMA world and how he was taken aback when he found out his proposed first UFC opponent was to be Daniel Puder.
Angle found himself walking away from WWE after almost 7 years in 2006, looking to take a break and heal his body. However, as he discussed on The Kurt Angle Show [available early and ad-free at AdFreeShows.com] Angle revealed that once he was free and clear of WWE, the offers came flooding in.
One of those offers was a potential deal with MMA behemoth UFC. Angle explained how he began training for MMA if he decided to follow that path:
“When I left WWE, I started training a little bit at the Pittsburgh Fight Club and I did it for about three or four months. Even when I signed with TNA, I was still doing the training, and I wanted to become more knowledgeable and keep my options open to have a big MMA fight down the road. I started training Jiu-Jitsu, stand-up fighting, boxing, learning all the trades so I could be well versed and well prepared if I ever did have a fight. It never occurred and I got lost into wrestling again. I love pro wrestling and there was nothing that was going to keep me from it.”
Kurt Angle then discussed his contract offer from UFC and says UFC President Dana White quashed any notion of competing in the promotion and wrestling at the same time:
“When the UFC offered me a deal when I left the WWE, it was a really good deal, but I told Dana that I had to wrestle too and he said, ‘There’s no way you can wrestle and fight.’ He’s right, that was a stupid idea that I had in my head to think that I could do both. I wouldn’t have survived very long doing both, but that’s what I wanted and Dana would not allow me to, so I had to turn down his offer.”
Angle then revealed who his proposed first fight was going to be and it was someone he knew from his WWE days, Tough Enough winner Daniel Puder. Puder and Angle had a run-in on SmackDown when Puder was able to lock Angle in an arm submission and by Angle’s own admission could have broken the Olympic gold medallist’s arm. Despite their history perhaps adding to the box office attraction, Angle says he was underwhelmed by the proposed fight:
“He wasn’t very specific on saying we’re going to protect you, but the opponent that he gave me at the beginning was a good opponent. Very intriguing from a public interest standpoint, especially from a pro wrestling fan standpoint. Very intriguing because he didn’t have a lot of experience in MMA, he only fought a couple of times, but I had a little episode with him in the WWE. That was Daniel Puder, and when Dana said that to me I said, ‘Are you serious? Daniel Puder, that’s all?’ Not that I thought Daniel Puder was easy because he actually had my arm trapped and he would have broken my arm when we did our little episode on SmackDown. I just knew that I could beat Daniel Puder.”