Kurt Angle has made many mentions in the press about a possible move to become an MMA fighter.
Currently, Angle is a member of the professional wrestling-based promotion, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, and is also training for a spot on the 2012 Olympic wrestling team.
Angle, who won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta in freestyle wrestling, was cast as a Russian fighter named Koba for the recently-released movie, Warrior.
Angle’s character is based off the real-life fighter, Fedor Emelianenko, who is regarded as one of the best MMA fighters of all-time.
Recently, Angle talked with TapouT Video about the movie and the upcoming heavyweight battle between former UFC heavyweight champion and ex-pro wrestling superstar Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem.
“Fedor, he always has this smile on his face, you don’t know if he’s mad or happy,” Angle said. “I can tell you this – when I was casting for (the movie), they tried at least 48, 49 different fighters and actors. They couldn’t get the right look and if they did the person was full of tattoos, so thank God I was at the right place at the right time. I was near the end of the line where they were just going to settle for somebody. I came in, I blew them away with my sparring, my technique, my striking, and my takedowns, thank God.”
Angle went on to say that the movie executives asked him if he had any tattoos and Angle lied, not telling them about the back tattoo he has. In the movie, they just covered it up.
“I knew where they were going when they said we want you to be a Russian fighter named Koba that shows no emotion,” Angle said. “I’m like, Fedor.”
Angle lost 30 pounds for the movie role and did not tan for a couple months to better resemble Emelianenko.
“What I did is I studied tapes of Fedor and he’s…you’d think it would be easy because he really doesn’t show any emotion but I couldn’t figure him out,” Angle said. “Like, he’s getting ready to fight, he has a little cracked smile like…you know, it just stays like that. And, I’m like, they want me to be this guy, I’ll try to be him but me because I can’t figure this guy out, he’s too complex.”
Warrior has received strong reviews for the work of its lead actors and mixed martial arts sequences. World-renowned film critic Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars.
On the upcoming Lesnar-Overeem fight which is slated for the end of the year, Angle seemed to favor Lesnar without really making a prediction.
“I have a lot of respect for Brock. I think that in any fight he’s in he has a chance. You don’t realize how strong and how athletic Brock Lesnar is until you get in that right with him,” Angle said. “This guy is an animal, so you can’t say that he has no chance. He always has a chance and, you know what, he can take a punch. Of course, he’s gotten knocked down and he’s got knocked out, but he can take a punch.
“The guy’s an animal, so he has a shot every time he goes out there and I wish him the best.”