by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
The speculation surrounding a possible grappling exhibition between MMA legend, Randy “The Natural” Couture, and former Olympic Gold medalist, Kurt Angle, continues to simmer around the headlines and the current UFC heavyweight champion recently spoke about the match-up with MMAWeekly Radio.
While Angle has been flirting with the idea of transitioning into mixed martial arts for years, Couture is interested in a grappling match with the former WWE wrestler, but isn’t overly concerned about it happening either.
“I’m not too worried about it either way,” said Couture. “When it is signed on the dotted line and it can really be a reality then I will definitely start training and getting myself into top grappling shape, sharpening all those tools for a match with him.”
The two are both legends in the wrestling world with Angle, as previously mentioned, winning a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics while Couture served as an alternate for three different Olympic teams.
“Obviously, he’s a great wrestler, we kind of came out of college at the same time, him at Clarion, me at Oklahoma State, in different weight classes, and then he went to freestyle, I was more into Greco,” Couture stated about their respective wrestling backgrounds. “He’s got a great wrestling pedigree, he just hasn’t done any real competition for a number of years, so I think the burden is on him to step up and compete at that level again.”
Couture’s main hurdle for any competition is his “no compete” clause of the UFC contract he’s is still serving under, but he remains open to the possibility of grappling Angle at some point.
“There’s some hoops to jump through, me first and foremost getting cleared of the UFC,” Couture stated. “I’m sure they’re not going to give me permission to do anything at this point while I’m under contract with them.”
Angle has gone as far as to say the match is already set to happen, but Couture states the opposite and for now the fight is simply speculation.
“I’m not going to lose any sleep over it either way. If it happens it would be a lot of fun, it would be cool,” he said. “I got the chance to do the “Jacare” match last year with the PSL (Professional Submission League), and just had a blast. I would be all over the chance to compete against a guy like Kurt. We’ll just have to wait and see.”