WWE HOF'er Kurt Angle Says He Decided Against UFC Run Despite Dana White Talks

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2021

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR 2K GAMES - WWE 2K18 Cover Superstar Seth Rollins and WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle seen at the WWE 2K18 SummerSlam Kickoff Event on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Invision for 2K Games/AP Images)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

While Kurt Angle seamlessly transitioned from Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler to professional wrestling, there is an alternate universe in which Angle became a UFC star. 

The WWE Hall of Famer appeared on the Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday and revealed UFC spoke to him twice about joining the promotion—including offering him a 10-fight deal in 1997: 

Pat McAfee @PatMcAfeeShow

After multiple conversations with @danawhite about potentially joining the #UFC throughout his career @RealKurtAngle ultimately chose not to "It never happened & I'm glad I didn't because breaking my neck 5 times total.. I did a lot of damage" #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE https://t.co/ys4tzphOWJ

"The money wasn't that great back then," he said. "I was gonna get the highest deal, and it was $15,000 a fight ... $150,000 for 10 fights. That's still good money, but it's not great money for putting your body on the line like that. You're risking concussions and injuries, and it's just too much."

Dana White did not purchase the UFC until 2001, so the company's original overture came before the current UFC president was in charge.

White approached Angle again in 2006 about a potential one-fight contract, but the two were not able to reach terms because Angle wanted to continue wrestling for Impact and fight for the UFC. White wanted Angle to fight exclusively for the UFC.

Angle, who has had several neck and spinal surgeries, told McAfee he's glad he never stepped into the Octagon because of the potential for even more lasting damage to his body.