Kurt Angle Eyes MMA Fight, Names Kimbo Slice, Ken Shamrock as Possible Opponents

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2016

ORANGE, CA - MAY 08:  Wrestler Kurt Angle arrives at the Lions Gate Premiere of 'See No Evil' at the Century Stadium Promenade 25 on May 8, 2006 in Orange, California.  (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Kurt Angle has said he is tempted by a move into MMA, naming former UFC fighter Kimbo Slice as a potential opponent for his first bout.  

The wrestling icon recently told The Roman Show (h/t TMZ Sports) there is a "very small chance" he will step into the cage to face an opponent in a marquee fight, namedropping Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie:

Of course, I'm not going to fight a guy in their prime. It's obviously gonna be one of the older guys. But if it does come to fruition, it'll be a helluva fight, whether its Kimbo Slice, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn ... or even Royce Gracie.

If I do decide [to fight], it'll be with a Hall of Famer ... it won't be someone in their prime in their early 30s, no way, not now.

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 31:  Kurt Angle of the US displays the national flag after winning the gold medal in the men's 100kg Olympic freestyle wrestling event at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, 31 July. (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) AFP-IOPP/
AFP IOPP/Getty Images

Gracie is one of the most influential figures in UFC and MMA history, and he is currently part of the Bellator promotion, which Angle commentates for. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner is now 49 years old, but he would be an immense hurdle for Angle in a potential bout.

Slice comes from a boxing background, and he would offer a stylistic challenge for the former WWE champion. 

Shamrock also has roots in sports entertainment, as a former NWA world champion and WWE Intercontinental belt holder, and he would generate incredible interest if he were to fight Angle in MMA. 

Actor and director David Henrie recently reminded everyone why Angle was destined for stardom after winning gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics:

MICHEL LIPCHITZ/Associated Press

Angle has always been a competitive individual, but the step up to MMA seems unlikely after the myriad injuries he has suffered.

Now 47, Angle's health could be seriously at risk if he signed up for a bout in the future, but any contest would generate huge interest due to his past achievements.

Slice is not as decorated when compared to Shamrock or Gracie, but he has a knockout capability. He would be a dangerous opponent for Angle, but he would offer the American the best chance of a clear victory.