If you’re sick of stories about Kurt Angle possibly doing MMA then you might want to grab a barf bag if you continue to read this.
But Angle was at the IFL finals (I actually got a text message during a stopover in Vegas yesterday from my editor at CBSSports.com, Denny Burkholder, letting me know Kurt was there and very visible) last night and Alex Marvez from FoxSports.com was able to catch up with him.
I recommend you check out Alex’s article by clicking here.
Apparently, Angle is now teasing the possibility of being a part of the IFL:
“God willing, the IFL and myself can make a deal,” Angle told FOXSports.com while attending the promotion’s team championship finale Thursday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. “The best fit for me right now as a pro wrestler who [works] about 120 times a year is the IFL.”
Huh? Kurt, IFL fighters are some of the busiest in MMA with the key guys fighting 5-7 times a year. The IFL has gotten away from super fights so unless they go back to that model, I don’t see how it’s the best fit for him now.
There is one area where I could see Kurt being a good fit:
Angle, 38, has toyed with the idea of competing in mixed martial arts since leaving World Wrestling Entertainment in August 2006 to join Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Angle said the IFL’s 12-team format is appealing because he could “start coaching and while doing that learn from my students.”
Yes, I think Angle would be a great IFL coach and I know a lot of you are going to jump down my throats about that, but hear me out. Could Kurt teach young fighters about MMA? Certainly not. He could help their wrestling but he doesn’t have the credentials to be an MMA coach. However, there’s more to being a head coach in the IFL than just coaching. A lot of the coaches add star power to the promotion and serve as ambassadors for the organization.
Angle as a coach makes sense from the standpoint that he could get paid to be involved with MMA without fighting and the IFL would have a nice PR component. Angle would bring them a lot of press. They could also work him into the mix as a TV analyst too if they really wanted to benefit from an association with Angle.
As far as the actual day-to-day coaching, simply hire top assistants. It’s kind of like the NFL where some coaches are figureheads who are hands off and rely heavily on their offensive and defensive coordinators as opposed to some coaches who are more hands on. With quality assistants, Kurt could get away with being a hands-off figurehead type coach.
But in reality, who knows if he’s serious. How many times have we been down this road with Angle? He’s hand plenty of chances to jump in and still hasn’t done it. The older he gets, the less likely it becomes. Is this nothing more than a way to get himself some press and boost his star power as a wrestler? I think many of us (although not all of us) allow ourselves to believe Kurt is serious about MMA just because from a fan perspective we want to see it happen so badly. If we really removed ourselves from it and thought about it, I think we’d realize that there’s no shot of Angle doing MMA.
And hey, if I’m wrong, Kurt, please prove me wrong.
The funny thing is that there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes talk of a match between Daniel Puder vs. Angle. I’ve heard different promotions talk about the idea but I think they might be taking Angle’s MMA talk more seriously than they should. And there’s also the fact that Puder has a new six-fight, 18-month contract with Strikeforce. I’m not sure if he’s allowed to fight outside of it but Gilbert Melendez is exclusive to Strikeforce right now so I would assume a six-fight deal for Puder includes exclusivity.
So different promotions have floated Puder vs. Angle but there’s only one that can legally make it happen (Strikeforce).
There was also a lot of talk of a future showdown between Angle vs. Brock Lesnar, which Angle addressed in Marvez’s article:
Angle had tried negotiating with different MMA organizations to work a match against Brock Lesnar, another former amateur and pro wrestling star who has branched into legitimate fighting. Angle, though, said those negotiations fell through when Lesnar signed a contract with the UFC.
“We figured we would make somebody a hell of a lot of money,” Angle said. “We were talking about it, but Brock jumped the gun and went to UFC right away and struck a deal. I don’t blame him. The kid honestly wants to do three or four fights and retire. He’s going to make that kind of money. I give him a lot of credit for that.
Angle states that Brock is definitely with the UFC. Well, that announcement hasn’t been made official and in that regard, I’m not so sure if Angle is the most credible source. But even if Lesnar is UFC-bound, why can’t it still happen?
Kurt has bragged about beating Lesnar when the two wrestled in a parking lot while the two were with the WWE. Angle vs. Lesnar promoted by the UFC machine would be huge business. If Angle really wanted to fight Lesnar, why would you do it anywhere besides the UFC considering they are the kings of MMA pay-per-view right now?
Another thing I want to touch on is that Angle and Lesnar are actually better friends than they’ve let on publicly. They’ve teased a shoot match for years now. Well, you’ve invested all that time into building it up so why not give all the fans (and yourselves) the big payoff?
I don’t know, maybe I shouldn’t even waste my time with this stuff because Angle has been doing the MMA song and dance too long now. Don’t talk about it, be about it.