As his competitive career winds down, Kurt Angle did some reminiscing about his career choice following a decorated amateur wrestling career. During a conversation on MMAWeekly radio, Angle said sometimes he wishes he’d resisted the temptation of the big money coming from the world of wresting and the WWE.
“Right after the Olympics, I had the chance,” Angle told MMAWeekly Radio about the chance to do MMA. “Was I going to go into pro wrestling or the UFC? I talked to the UFC, but at the time they were only paying their top fighters 15 grand to fight, and here WWE throws this big contract at me. It’s kind of like, let me see, do I struggle and go in the UFC or do I go here and make a bunch of money? Obviously, the decision was very easy.”
“I actually contacted Dana White again after the movie. I flew out to meet him once and got a great offer. I contacted him again, I was thinking about dropping out of Impact wrestling, and there were some personal problems with my marriage and I just wanted to get away. I contacted Dana White, I flew out, and he had me take the UFC physical. I passed it, thank God, and he gave me the offer,” Angle stated.
When told about the recent convo, White disputed the account of the 2003 story.
Is it believable that the UFC would’ve been interested in the 35-year-old pro wrestler? Possibly. Even though he was little older than Brock Lesnar, when he turned to MMA, Angle had a more impressive amateur wrestling career to fall back on and would’ve been a nice get for the UFC in 2003.
Remember that was a time when the promotion was still rolling out roughly five events per year. The total estimated PPV buy rate in 2003 was 278,000.