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Kurt Angle признава, че не е готов за MMA


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Kurt Angle Admittedly not Ready for MMA

Although professional wrestling superstar Kurt Angle will compete against UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture in a submission grappling match later this year, don't expect Angle to immediately follow in fellow professional wrestler Brock Lesnar's footsteps -- at least not yet.

Angle discussed his upcoming grappling match, as well as a possible foray into MMA with a potential seven-figure deal with the UFC, while a guest on Thursday's edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), a content partner site of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).

"I've always wanted to do (MMA), from after the Olympics, and I just never got the shot," Angle said. "I've been keeping myself in really, really good shape, but not in the fighting shape you have to be in to go into MMA."

Instead, Angle will first try his hand at submission wrestling, which is essentially MMA without striking. The match will be Angle's first in Rico Chiapparelli's Professional Submission League, while Couture has competed in the organization before, battling Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza to a draw. The date of the event has not yet been determined, but Angle believes it will take place in late summer or early fall.

"A lot of people are pretty much counting me out, which I don't blame them," Angle admitted. "But you can't count out an Olympic gold medalist."

After the match, Angle will continue to pursue a transition into MMA, something the 39-year-old has been trying to do for several years. Angle has had contract negotiations with several organizations, including the UFC, though none of those discussions led to a deal.

"(UFC President) Dana White gave me more than any other fighter could ever dream of," Angle said. "He wanted me to sign for a long period of time where I didn't have to fight that much. But, he wanted the complete rights to me. I guess he wanted Kurt Angle the name and the person to be affiliated with the UFC for the next whatever years. But the figure was staggering. I could tell you that all the deals that were done were all in the seven-figure mark for the fight."

Angle's training for a possible MMA debut has been hampered by the difficulties of constant travel while working as a professional wrestler. He also has a history of neck and shoulder issues that have required numerous surgeries. He hopes to land with an organization that will allow him ample time to prepare properly for a fight.

"Last year I trained about four straight months, and I'll tell you what, the training is as grueling, if not more grueling, than the training I did for the 1996 Olympics," Angle said. "Within four months I was so broken down, and I was trying to wrestle full time on the road as well, and I couldn't do it."

So while Angle is excited about the opportunity to test his abilities in submission grappling against one of the UFC's most decorated fighters, an MMA debut is still far from a sure thing.

"I don't want (you) to misunderstand me," he said. "When I say I am in shape, I am in no shape at all right now to go into an octagon or on a platform and have a fight with Randy Couture or Chuck Liddell or 'Rampage' Jackson or Brock Lesnar or whoever it is. Right now I cannot."

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