Kurt Angle has revealed he held talks with UFC about joining the promotion prior to his move to WWE and just after his departure from the company in 2006.
Angle signed for WWE in 1998 after winning an Olympic Gold Medal in freestyle wrestling in 1996, and is widely regarded as one of the best amateur wrestlers to ever practise the craft.
Angle would go on to enjoy one of the most illustrious careers in professional wrestling, winning four WWE Championships, the World Heavyweight Championship and WCW Championship during his first run in WWE.
However, the Hall Of Famer's career could have taken a very different turn had he opted instead to enter the Octagon, with UFC approaching Angle with a ten-match deal in 1997.
"UFC approached me in 1997 and they offered me a ten-fight deal," Angle told The Pat McAfee Show. "The money wasn't that great back then. I was gonna get the highest deal, and it was $15,000 a fight, $150,000 for ten fights.
"It’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. I declined the offer.
"This is before Dana White purchased the company. UFC didn’t explode until after I had gotten into WWE. That was around 2000 or 2001. I came to WWE in ‘99 and, being in there, I had a great rookie year. One of the best ever. And I just felt like I didn’t want to start over again."
Angle would leave WWE in August 2006 before signing with TNA in September, but the 52-year-old said there was a chance for him to make the step into the UFC world during that time too.
Having already put pen-to-paper on his deal with TNA however, the opportunity passed him by.
Angle added: "I even talked to Dana White when I left the WWE in 2006. He flew me to Las Vegas and he’s a great guy. He treated me very well.
"He told me that he wanted me to do one fight and he also wanted me to show up at every pay-per-view, wave in the crowd and be there. It was a lucrative deal but I’d just signed with TNA - IMPACT Wrestling. I asked Dana if I could do both, but he said I couldn’t do both, you had to do one or the other.
"So it never happened and I’m glad it didn’t because breaking my neck five times in total, it’s a lot of damage. And I didn’t have any upper body strength. If somebody had got me in an armbar, there was no way I could fight it. They would have ripped my arm off. So I decided that it wouldn’t be the best option for me and that I would rather stick with the entertainment stuff!"