Rumors have been floating around for months that Kurt Angle, olympic champion and former WWE star, has been looking into entering mixed martial arts. The details have been murky at best but Sam Caplan from CBS Sportsline recently got a call from Angle to talk about his future in MMA:
“Despite choosing TNA over the UFC, Angle did not give up on his MMA aspirations. Angle went so far as to have language included in his TNA contract that would allow him to pursue mixed martial arts opportunities.
Angle continued to publicly discuss his desire to go into MMA on various radio shows and revealed that he had engaged in talks with upstart MMA promotion EliteXC, which has an exclusive deal with Showtime.
Soon after hearing that Angle was talking to EliteXC, Angle claims White placed a call to TNA president Dixie Carter.
“He didn’t want me to wrestle too, and I wasn’t going to give up something I love to do,” said Angle. “So it didn’t happen, and then Showtime and EliteXC started getting interested in me, and Dana White caught wind of it. He called my boss, Dixie Carter of TNA, and said, ‘Why is Kurt going there? Why doesn’t he come with me?’ And he said, ‘I want to talk to him again.'”
In addition to renewed interest from the UFC and current interest from EliteXC, Angle claims that the International Fight League has been in contact as well.
Despite Angle’s insistence he’s serious about MMA, he didn’t offer a timetable when pressed for when he plans to make a final decision and begin training. In fact, Angle has no plans to train in MMA until he has a deal signed with a major promotion. He also reaffirmed his commitment to pro wrestling and made it clear that before he cuts a deal with a promotion, he wants to know he’s going to be big part of their future as well as their present.
“I’m not going to start training until I sign,” Angle said. “I don’t have to fight. I could retire in the next few years. I’m fine financially. Although, I do want a big paycheck when I fight because I’m putting myself at risk, I’m putting my career at risk and also, I don’t think anyone in mixed martial arts has seen anyone like me, especially being an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling. I’m just going to look around, I’m going to look for just not the highest deal, but what’s what I feel is the best opportunity for me. I don’t want just a one-fight deal. I want to be involved in the company for years to come. I want to fight continuously as long as I can and still be involved with the company afterward.”
The article continues to discuss Angle’s neck injuries and the possibility of him getting licensed to compete in MMA. From the sounds of things he is in no way pressured to make a decision anytime soon and by all accounts will take his time when deciding what promotion to ultimately go to.