In 2004, Kurt Angle was looking to prove a point to Tough Enough contestants by challenging them to a real fight. Daniel Puder, a contestant with an MMA background, accepted the challenge and put Angle in a kimura lock. The referee counted Puder's shoulders down, forcing him to release the hold.
Puder and Angle have been linked together ever since with Angle reportedly upset with how things went down 16 years ago.
Speaking to Chris Van Vliet, Puder discussed where things currently stand with Angle.
"People have grudges, it's a reflection of inside. At the end of the day, I don't hate anybody. Did I make an opportunity of what was given? Sure. Did I follow the rules? Yes. I've never had a problem with him. He came up and congratulated me when I won. He knows I put in the work," said Puder. "I would love to do some stuff with him on a final match. I would love to be coached by him. Fighting, I don't know if he could get approved in any states. I would love to do some wrestling stuff at some point, I don't think he would do it. If he would, I would do it for sure. Think about what we could draw with an old crowd, doing it right, spending three to six months impact kids in schools, doing stuff with law enforcement educators, the whole thing could be built up nice. For me, he can come out and be a manager. We could do so much cool stuff where he's my coach. At the end of the day, we don't have the same purpose and if it doesn't line up with that, I don't know if I would commit to doing it."
Angle retired from in-ring competition at WrestleMania 35, losing his farewell match to Baron Corbin. Puder was released by WWE in September 2005. After Angle left WWE in 2006, there were reports that he was preparing to make his UFC debut with a potential fight against Puder in the works.
"I never got a contract on that one," said Puder when asked about fighting Angle in the UFC. "There were minor discussions, I don't think I talked with Dana [White], I think he had a conversation with Dana about it. I would have taken the fight, but at the end of the day, if he was taking that much Vicodin, that he says he was taking, I don't think he'd pass a drug test."
Puder had eight pro MMA fights, including four in Strikeforce. He is 8-0 in his MMA career, but hasn't fought since 2009. He is now a deputy sheriff in St. Francis County, Arkansas.
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