UFC Will Have to Wait: Kyle Snyder Has a Long Wrestling Career Ahead

By Andy Vance on January 18, 2018 at 2:31 pm
Kyle Snyder: The GOAT

USA Wrestling

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A Buckeye was the inaugural UFC heavyweight champion, and fans of college wrestling and mixed martial arts are chomping at the bit to see Ohio State's current heavyweight in The Octagon.

Mark "The Hammer" Coleman won the inaugural UFC Heavyweight Championship way back at UFC 10. Coleman won an NCAA national title and enjoyed moderate success as a freestyle wrestler before blazing the trail into mixed martial arts.

Will Kyle Snyder follow the same script? To borrow a phrase from Lee Corso: Not so fast.

"In five or six years, I see myself still wrestling," Snyder said on the Eleven Dubcast earlier this week. "The plan right now is to do that, and then I'll see how I feel at the end of all of it, but I want to wrestle as long as I can."

Snyder is the best pound-for-pound freestyle wrestler on the planet today. He is the reigning, defending, undisputed Olympic, World and NCAA champion at 97 kg and Heavyweight, respectively.

Captain America, as he's called by some fans, opened the world to the idea of a post-wrestling MMA career in 2016, when he said he wanted to pursue fighting in the UFC "immediately." Immediately, it turns out, is a ways off yet.

"I've talked to Cormier about it," Snyder said, referring to UFC Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, a former collegiate wrestler and freestyle World Bronze Medalist. "Cormier is 39 and he's UFC 205-pound champion of the world. His advice to me was to wrestle as long I possible can, and then if I feel like fighting after then, then fight."

In 2016, Cormier told Fox Sports that Snyder had what it takes to be one of the best prospects in UFC history.

"This is a blue chip prospect. This is as blue as a blue chip prospect gets in any sport,” Cormier said. "if Kyle can win six [world championships] in a row and still only be 25 years old starting his MMA career, that's legendary. He's got all the time in the world.”

Snyder appears to be in the best condition of his life, having dispatched the best on the planet routinely over the past three years at the biggest tournaments in the world. In the middle of his senior NCAA season with the Buckeyes, he'll take a quick jaunt to Russia next week to compete in the Ivan Yarygin Memorial Invitational.

When asked if he imagined competing in the Tokyo, Paris or even the Los Angeles summer Olympics, Snyder's answer was simple: "If my body can compete, then I'll be there."

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