In a recent interview with MMA Diehards, Olympic gold medalist and professional wrestler Kurt Angle repeated his desire to compete in MMA.
“I just did my physical this past year with Dana White,” said Angle. “The problem is I’m not allowed to wrestle and fight. Dana White will not permit that.”
Despite the fact that signing a UFC contract would keep him out of a wrestling ring, Angle says that he only wants to compete for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“I’m a UFC die hard,” said Angle. “Strikeforce yeah, I looked that way… but the one I want to fight for is Dana White.”
It seems that Angle has been in the news several times for calling out MMA fighters and for stating his intention of competing in MMA but, if what he says is to be believed, we could see Angle competing in the cage fairly soon.
“I do want to do the UFC, the MMA thing and hopefully God willing it will be in the next year or two,” said Angle.
Angle would not be the first professional wrestler-turned-Mixed Martial Artist. He would join undefeated Strikeforce contender Bobby Lashley and UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar as the highest profile wrestlers to convert to MMA. As to what separates himself from the others, Angles points to his impressive wrestling pedigree.
“I don’t consider myself a pro-wrestler, I consider myself an Olympic gold medalist,” said Angle. “Brock [Lesnar] and Bobby [Lashley] were great wrestlers but they weren’t anywhere near where I was. I’m in the top five of the greatest amateur wrestlers of all time.”
Despite feeling that his status as an amateur wrestler separates himself from the pack, Angle was quick to give props to his fellow pro-wrestlers.
“Brock Lesnar is the real deal, he’s an animal,” said Angle. “Bobby Lashley is up and coming and is going to be great. But I don’t know where I’ll be, light heavyweight or heavyweight. I can make either one like that.”
Whether or not it is any indication of his seriousness, Angle has already begun picking out opponents.
“Some of my fellow Olympians are Randy Couture,” he said. “Unfortunately he didn’t walk away with a medal in the Olympics but he’s still an incredible wrestler. I would love to see how I would fare against him.”
With the rumor circulating that Couture will be welcoming professional boxer James Toney into the eight-sided cage, perhaps the unofficial Octagon-welcomer could take on Angle as well.
With as impressive an amateur wrestling background as Angle possesses, it is not inconceivable to believe that he could be successful at high levels of MMA competition. However strong his wrestling base is though, there are still multiple more facets to MMA to which Angle would have to become more familiar before he could compete at those high levels. Since we have heard this talk from Angle before, there is no telling how serious he is about trying his hand at MMA competition. This is a case where only time will tell and, at age 42, time is not Kurt Angle’s friend.