Tuesday, October 9, 2007

IFL Willing to Accommodate Kurt Angle

It seems that pro wrestler/MMA hopeful Kurt Angle and the IFL are putting together a deal for Kurt that "would fit his schedule in terms of balancing fighting with his professional wrestling career," MMAWeekly is reporting.

Last month, Angle told FOXSports.com that the IFL would be the best fit, considering that his TNA (Total Nonstop Action) wrestling career has him working "about 120 days a year." IFL teams compete just three times during the regular season, which might not seem like much, but considering that fighters on top teams could fight up to seven matches a year (counting play-off appearances), IFL fighters are as busy as any in all of MMA.

In addition to the IFL accommodating Angle’s wrestling demands, what Angle also likes about the IFL is the league’s team concept, says IFL commissioner Kurt Otto. "Kurt Angle really wants to come on board. He wants to learn MMA and he wants to come to the IFL specifically because of the team format because he’s used to that," Otto told MMAWeekly.

The more I think about it, the more symbiotic this whole team concept seems to be for Angle and the IFL. With virtually no professional MMA experience under his belt, training with a team of fighters and coaches seems like a great way for Angle to cut his teeth in the MMA game. What Angle lacks in experience, he makes up for in experience. As a teammate, Angle brings to the table an Olympic gold medal and two NCAA D-I championships, as well as some serious skill and athleticism. Plus, you can bet that plenty of TNA fans would tune in to the IFL to see Angle give out/be given a real-life beating. From a PR standpoint, having Angle in the IFL could be a good move.

Assuming that Angle and the IFL are meant to be, what team would get Angle? I reported recently that Portland Wolfpack coach Matt “The Law” Lindland is sitting on "some big news" about who his heavyweight will be for the 2008 season. Lindland said that he had been waiting on the mystery fighter to reach U.S. soil and get in with Team Quest, but that he feels the Wolfpack will have the top IFL heavyweight next year. Anyone know if Angle had been spending time overseas?

Either way, I remain a bit skeptical of Angle as a mixed martial artist. Angle is closing in on 40 years of age, he has a history of neck injuries, he is already has a high-profile, full-time job, and he was recently arrested in his home for DUI – not a good list of obstacles for any MMA rookie.

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