Kurt Angle Turned Down Half Million Dollar Offer From UFC

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Kurt Angle was close to never stepping foot in the WWE.

It is hard to imagine what the WWE landscape would have looked like if the Hall of Famer hadn’t debuted in 1999, but it was very nearly the case after Angle was approached with an offer from the UFC.

Shortly after winning a gold medal with a broken neck, Angle was approached by the MMA promotion. Speaking with Marc Raimondi of ESPN, Angle revealed that he rejected the offer due to it not paying enough:

I love fighting, but I don’t love it that much to get my butt kicked for 15 grand [per fight]. So, I decided to go to WWE and when I got there, I had so much success early on. And then UFC started becoming mainstream in the early 2000s, and this is when I was having a stellar career in WWE, winning world championships, beating The Rock for the world championship, beating ‘Stone Cold’ [Steve Austin] for the world championship. And I thought, ‘Man, I would love to fight, but I already had this great career going on right now.'”

Fast forward to 2009 and Angle was approached again by the promotion to compete in The Ultimate Fighter while signed with TNA. The offer was more lucrative this time, with the former World Champion being offered $500,000 to fight in the series. Angle refused once again, stating that he was grateful for the offer but was not in the right physical condition:

“I started training for it a little bit and I realized, ‘I’m past my prime, I can’t do this. So, I had to turn it down. But I’m very grateful for the offers Dana White gave me. He is an incredible person.”

Despite being signed with TNA at the time, Angle revealed that he was always considering a WWE return.

Kurt Angle In Pain Every Day Following Retirement

Known for his intensity in the ring, Angle endured extreme pain and multiple surgeries for the sport and to put on the best match every night. In a recent interview, Angle revealed how he has “paid the price” for wrestling so physically and for so long, detailing all of the surgeries he has gone through.