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Tag: Kurt Angle

MMA Fighters Transitioning to Pro-Wrestling: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


(Let me guess, it’ll sound something like “Tito Ortiz, The Huntington Bad Beach Boy: Future NTA world TNA heavyweight champion of the world.” Capture via ProWresBlog.Blogspot.Com.)

For some MMA fighters, professional wrestling was just a one-time cash grab. For others, it became a second career. Inspired by yet another week of TNA Impact Wrestling’s efforts to get anyone to care about the professional wrestling experiments of two broken-down MMA legends, we’ll be examining fighters who took up professional wrestling after they made their names in MMA in our newest installment of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

Bear in mind that this article is focusing on mixed martial artists who transitioned to professional wrestling careers, and not fighters who started off as professional wrestlers. So that means fighters like Brock Lesnar, Ken Shamrock, Bobby Lashley, Giant Silva, Bob Sapp, Dos Caras Jr. (aka Alberto Del Rio), Dan Severn (Google it) and Sakuraba will not be covered here — although a few of these men will make appearances in this article. Let’s start off on a positive note…

The Good

The Professional Wrestling Career of Josh Barnett.

When you’re thinking of good instances of an MMA fighter turning to professional wrestling as a second career choice, Josh Barnett should immediately come to mind. There have been other fighters who dabbled in professional wrestling, but Barnett is one of the only ones to be just as popular and successful in it as he was in MMA.

Before his transition, Barnett became the youngest heavyweight champion in UFC history by defeating Randy Couture at UFC 36. After being stripped of his title due to a positive drug test, Barnett set his sights on the Japanese professional wrestling scene, where the fans value legitimacy and toughness from their wrestlers more than mic skills and charisma (although Barnett has both in spades). He immediately challenged for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and although he came up short, he went on to enjoy the most relevant crossover career of any fighter on this list before his return to the UFC earlier this year put a halt to the wrasslin’ for the time being.

It’d be easy to call his work with the incredibly underrated Perry Saturn or the technical wrestling clinic that he put on against Hideki Suzuki his most impressive stuff, but it’s probably not. Honest to God, Barnett’s biggest accomplishment may be the fact that he managed to pull Bob Sapp — who has the same cardio and technique in wrestling as he does in MMA — through a watchable match. How many people can claim that?

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Rampage Jackson Already Made His TNA Impact Debut, And Here’s The Video

If watching two dudes stare ominously at each other from inches away whilst using a microphone to communicate is your thing, then BOY DO WE HAVE A VIDEO FOR YOU.

After signing a dual contract with Bellator and TNA wrestling ala Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal earlier this week, former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson made his big debut with the latter last night. And if he was hoping that being a professional MMA fighter would earn him some of that “respect” he’s always talking about in the world of wrasslin’, he was…right, we guess? Rampage could barely get out one of his signature howls before being challenged by Kurt Angle (a.k.a “Koba“) — a close-talker if there ever was one — who vehemently declared that Page “get off his plane” or some such nonsense. This lead to a heated staredown which ended with Page laying the smackdown on Kurt’s candy ass shaking Angle’s hand like a gentleman??!

Jesus, if we ever needed any evidence that Rampage has truly lost the fire, this is it. The Rampage of old would have at least promised us some “black on white” crime before commenting on Angle’s stank bref. Pour one out for a fallen friend, Potato Nation…

-J. Jones

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Wednesday Morning MMA Link Club


(Meredith DiVita, the 10th hottest MMA chick of 2010, is back with a new Knoxx Gear photo shoot. For more pics of Meredith, check out her public Facebook page and KNOXXlifestyle.)

Some selected highlights from our friends around the MMA blogosphere. E-mail feedback@cagepotato.com for details on how your site can join the MMA Link Club…

- BJ Penn: The UFC Forced Me to Say Things About Nick Diaz (MMA Mania)

- Jason “Mayhem” Miller Explains Alleged Assault on Sister (5thRound)

- The Truth About Fighters and Sponsors (MMA Fighting)

- Strikeforce Ratings Way Down for ‘Barnett vs. Kharitonov’ (MMA Payout)

- Roger Ebert Reviews New MMA Movie, “Warrior” (TheFightNerd)

- Rich Franklin Done for 2011 With Torn Shoulder Labrum (Five Ounces of Pain)

- Photo Report: Alexander Shlemenko Training With Michael Bisping for Bellator 50 (LowKick)

- Rampage Jackson Wants His UFC/PRIDE Unified Light Heavyweight Belt Back (MMA Convert)

- Power Ranking Every Upcoming UFC Event (BleacherReport.com/MMA)

- Well at Least Kimbo Slice Has No Problem Attracting the Opposite Sex (MiddleEasy)

- Kurt Angle Explains Why Imitating Fedor Is Impossible (FightOpinion)

- Strikeforce Heavyweight Semifinals Recap With ‘Big’ John McCarthy and Lloyd Irvin (NBC Sports MMA)

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Kurt Angle Says He Was Recently Offered UFC Contract; Dana White Calls Bullsh*t


(Rear-naked-choke to the ankle: If done right, no can defend.)

Kurt Angle appeared on a recent episode of MMAWeekly Radio and dropped a bombshell that he was very close to coming to terms with the UFC recently.

A former Olympic gold medalist in wrestling, Angle says that appearing in the soon-to-be-relesed MMA movie, “Warrior” re-stoked his fire to compete in MMA. Following his last appearance in the Olympics, Angle chose pro wrestling over MMA and has hinted ever since that he would try his hand at the sport one day.

“I actually contacted Dana White again after the movie. I flew out to meet him once and got a great offer. I contacted him again, I was thinking about dropping out of [TNA] Impact Wrestling, and there were some personal problems with my marriage and I just wanted to get away,” he explained. “I contacted Dana White, I flew out, and he had me take the UFC physical. I passed it, thank God, and he gave me the offer.”

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Kurt Angle Insists He’ll Compete in MMA Next Year

Kurt Angle Brock Lesnar WWE
(Sorry, buddy — no dick-tattoo on your chest, no UFC contract.)

Hey, someone’s gotta fill the hole left by Anderson Silva. WWE/TNA vet Kurt Angle — who’s made similar claims in the past — now tells The Sun that he’ll definitely make the move from pro wrestling to MMA next year. And in doing so, he kind of sounds like an idiot. First off…

[W]hen asked which organisation he would be competing for…he added: “It depends on which company gives me the best deal. I’m getting offers from the UFC, Pro Elite XC, Affliction and the IFL.”

Problem 1: The IFL doesn’t exist anymore. Problem 2: Affliction’s Tom Atencio has publicly stated that Angle would be bad for the sport. Problem 3: “Pro Elite XC” is on shaky financial ground at this point, and could just as easily be extinct next year. But hey, the UFC scored big with Brock Lesnar, so maybe Dana White will roll the dice again. Which would work out, because Angle’s already assuming he’ll be fighting in an eight-sided shape:

“I’ve always wanted to do it. I’m the only Olympic gold medallist that will enter the Octagon and it feels right for me. I can almost guarantee you’re going to see me in the Octagon. Obviously I’m going to have to take a few months away from pro wrestling to get ready for that.”

Sure, a few months should cover it. To be honest, this is feeling like a FAIL waiting to happen. Especially because Angle admits that his ultimate goal is to finish out his career at TNA. (“God-willing, I’ll walk away successful and I can come away from MMA saying ‘I did it’ and go back to my professional wrestling routes.”)

Look, one Brock Lesnar is enough for us, thanks. I can only hope that Angle gets all-but-murdered in his first MMA match and goes back to fake-fighting for good.

Related: The AFL — that totally ‘tarded fight league that signed pro wrestler Bobby Lashley to a fight contract — may not be doing so well.

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Quick Poll: What’s Stupider?

FS
(Google Image Search result #1 for “freak show.” Apologies.)

From FightOpinion:

Nikkan Sports has a report claiming that Antonio Inoki is interested in Kurt Angle making his MMA debut on the IGF 4/12 Osaka Prefectural Gym show. According to Inoki, Angle will likely participate with open-fingered gloves and that it may be a 3-way MMA match involving Naoya Ogawa & Josh Barnett. Making this story even better is the fact that Angle has to work a TNA PPV the next day (4/13) in the States.

From Fightlinker:

DEEP is putting on a ‘Megaton’ grand prix, which means it’s a big fatty fest. Not only is this the most awesome concept ever, but if you’re a fat fuck too, you get free booze!

DEEP has announced the match-ups for their Megaton GP. I expect the fighters going at it with a lot of heart and maybe not the best of skills in this event. All in all, should make for some exciting fights.

Also, audience members weighing in at over 100kg can expect a 500yen drink coupon.

I guess the better question is — which of these events would you rather watch with your buddies while stoned? Hook us up, Mark

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