Kyle Snyder, a young American who won freestyle wrestling gold at the Rio Olympics, wants to pursue a career in the UFC.
The 97kg champion attended UFC 203 in Cleveland on Saturday night and seems to feel that is where his future lies.
He tweeted afterwards:
I want to fight @ufc
— Kyle Snyder (@Snyder_man45) September 11, 2016
Speaking to FOX Sports on Monday, 20-year-old Snyder reiterated his desire to pursue a career in mixed martial arts, although he still hopes to compete at Tokyo 2020 as well.
“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,” Snyder revealed.
“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.
“They put on a great show, it’s really exciting. I think it’s something that I could excel in. I haven’t done much boxing or jiu-jitsu or striking or stuff like that but I think that I could pick it up pretty quickly.
“The crowd and the way they made the whole thing a big show was just exciting for me. It’s something that I want to do.”
Snyder knows he can’t just waltz into the UFC, however, and that a great deal of training lies ahead.
“Hopefully, sometime soon — not soon as in like this year or something like that — but within the next couple of years when I get my grounds in this sport,” he said.
“I think I’ll throw some different training in pretty soon. I’m not sure exactly when I would want to fight, but I want to start working on the stuff I’m not as good at like the striking and jiu-jitsu and stuff like that. I think it would be a good thing on the days I’m not practicing wrestling going and getting an extra workout.
“Obviously I would be wrestling, which would help me fight. I’m not sure when exactly I would want to come out.”
No man or woman has ever been an Olympic and UFC champion, but we think that’s a pretty cool goal to strive for.
Several have come close: Henry Cejudo won wrestling gold at the Beijing Games in 2008 but was beaten by UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson when challenging for the title earlier this year.
Former UFC champion Ronda Rousey, meanwhile, won a bronze medal in Beijing, although the gold eluded her.
As many as eighteen Olympians have competed in the UFC to date.