Olympic Gold Medalist Kyle Snyder: I want to fight UFCGet the Full StoryThe 20 year old Olympic, World, and NCAA champion, Kyle Snyder, wants to compete in wrestling and MMA simultaneously Less than a month ago, Maryland native and Ohio State University junior, Kyle Snyder, became the youngest American ever to win a wrestling gold medal at the Olympics. Last week, after attending UFC 203 in Cleveland, he was inspired to make the leap into mixed martial arts.
With the following tweet, Snyder proclaimed his intentions:
I want to fight ufc Kyle Snyder Snyder_man45 September 11, 2016
The Buckeye expanded on his brief yet tantalizing tweet in an interview with Fox Sports.
Impressed by the showmanship of the promotion, Snyder was excited at the notion of becoming the first person to wrestle in a world or Olympic championship while simultaneously fighting in the UFC.
Without committing to a specific timeline, Snyder sounded confident in his ability to juggle both sports, telling Fox:
"I want to fight. Basically what that tweet means. I love wrestling, I really do. I would want to continue wrestling but I want to do both at the same time. I want to pursue my wrestling career, wrestle in World Championships and the Olympic games, but if the scheduling could work out and I can become an elite fighter, then I want to fight in the UFC as well.
In a 2015 interview with Flo Sports, Snyder said he wanted to wrestle in five Olympic Games, which would keep him on the mat until 2032. Whether or not this is still the plan is unknown.
Having won both a UWW World Championship and Olympic Gold, Snyder would also be the most credentialed American wrestler on the UFC roster.
Henry Cejudo, previously the youngest American to win an Olympic wrestling gold, and UFC Light Heavyweight belt holder, Daniel Cormier, with a bronze medal at the 2007 World Championship, would currently be the contenders for that distinction.
Snyder s bread and butter, both on the collegiate and international circuits, is his takedown ability. We can see this demonstrated in the 2015 Freestyle World Championships held in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the then 19 year old Snyder defeated the defending world champion, Russian Abdusalam Gadisov, using his trademark level changes, rock solid positioning and otherworldly mat savvy to full effect.
Snyder has competed at both the 197 lb and 285 lb divisions in college, and at the 97 kg 213 lb weight class at the senior freestyle wrestling level, making Snyder a potential candidate for either the 205 or 265 lb MMA weight class.
There should be no shortage of gyms that would be eager to add the Olympian to their fighting stable. Likewise, Snyder would assuredly have the option to join the growing list of former wrestlers at Bellator should he decide to take a circuitous route to the premier MMA promotion.
One of the benefits of being a 20-year-old Olympic gold medalist is that the young Mr. Snyder will have plenty of time to make these decisions before his fighting shelf-life would typically expire.
Snyder stated that he wouldn t want to start fighting until he was fully prepared and trained in all aspects of the sport, however, Snyder did leave MMA fans with the following tease when pressed regarding the timing of a potential debut.
Hopefully, sometime soon. Not soon as in like this year or something like that, but within the next couple of years.