Dana White: I’ve Talked to Kurt Angle, But He’d Get “Destroyed” in MMA
Posted by UFC Junkie on June 19, 2007 at 1:18 pm ET
Dana White recently confirmed that he’s again opened discussions with 1996 Olympic gold medalist and WWE/TNA “professional wrestler” Kurt Angle about a possible mixed-martial-arts debut with the UFC. However, White says that Angle would get “destroyed” in the UFC if he doesn’t start working on his MMA skills.
At a press conference that followed Saturday’s UFC 72 event in Belfast, Ireland, White confirmed his ongoing discussions with Angle but flatly denied he’s had similar talks with fellow wrestler Brock Lesnar, who debuted and beat Min Soo Kim into submission at a June 2 K-1/EliteXC show. (Lesnar earned $500,000 for the fight, so it’s obvious Angle has a financial interest in making his own MMA debut.)
While White says that he “likes” and “respects” Angle, he feels that the 39-year-old wouldn’t stand a chance in the UFC if he jumps right into competition.
“I think he needs to work on his MMA. He’ll get destroyed by any of these guys. He’s a nice guy… I like him, but I’ll tell it like it is. I think he’s going to get destroyed if he comes in and fights with the UFC. Because he’s a gold medal wrestler, I respect him for that, but… you just don’t jump from the WWE to MMA.“
Rumors of Angle’s possible transition into the UFC first surfaced in February. A few weeks later, though, White said that Angle wasn’t serious about fighting and was too “busted up” to survive the rigors of the sport. White even said he offered Angle a contract in which he’d spend a year training with current UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture and other UFC fighters to prepare for his debut.
However, White said Angle turned down the offer.