It seems like everyone is having fun with Conor McGregor breaking his leg at UFC 264, even WWE legend Kurt Angle.
Angle, who knows a thing or two about broken bones, is retired from professional wrestling but says he is in ‘extreme pain’ every day as a result of his time in the squared circle.
McGregor broke his tibia and fibula at the end of the first round with Dustin Poirier last Saturday and is now banned from competing until January 2022 at the earliest.
UFC president Dana White believes McGregor won’t return until around July 2022, a full 12 months away.
But Angle says ‘big deal.’
“So…. @TheNotoriousMMA broke his freakin’ ankle this past weekend,” Angle tweeted. “Big deal. I break my ankle all of the time. I broke my ankle this morning and I’m jumping around right now!! I even won a gold medal with a broken freakin neck too.”
Of course, the running joke with Angle is that during his WWE run he would often say he ‘won a gold medal with a broken freakin neck’ and it became his catchphrase – but it actually happened.
At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Angle won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling in the heavyweight division. He also won gold at the World Championships the year prior, also in Atlanta.
During the Olympic trials, Angle suffered a severe neck injury, fracturing two of his cervical vertebrae, herniating two discs, and pulling four muscles. With the help of numbing injections, Angle still went on to win Olympic gold.
Now, the 52 year old is retired and watching fighting from afar, but he did consider a career in UFC once upon a time.
UFC president Dana White says it didn’t happen because Angle couldn’t pass the medicals.
“I like Kurt Angle. He’s a nice guy. I’ve never had any problems with Kurt Angle, good guy. Kurt Angle was calling me to fight in the UFC. He wanted to fight in the UFC, and he wanted to come over here or whatever, especially after Brock got in,” White said.
“What I offered [Angle] was, I said, here’s what I’ll do: ‘I’ll put you on The Ultimate Fighter during the heavyweight season when Kimbo was on.’ I was gonna put him on The Ultimate Fighter. He wanted to do it. We worked out a deal, and he didn’t pass the medicals.”
Angle doesn’t regret not doing it, but he says he would have if UFC was bigger earlier.
“I believe I’d have been as good in MMA as I was in pro wrestling, but I don’t regret it,” he said.
“If the money was there in MMA when I came out of the Olympics, I’d have gone into MMA. But it wasn’t there until I was four years into my WWE career. But I love pro wrestling, so it wasn’t meant to be for me.”