Gold medalist Kyle Snyder unsure about leaping from wrestling to MMA

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Photo - Kyle Snyder celebrates his Gold Medal win in 97kg wrestling action Sunday, August 21, 2016 at the Rio Olympic Games. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Kyle Snyder celebrates his Gold Medal win in 97kg wrestling action Sunday, August 21, 2016 at the Rio Olympic Games. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

Kyle Snyder, an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling, watched UFC 203 in September in Cleveland. At the time, he sounded as if he planned to compete in Mixed Martial Arts and traditional wrestling.

“I want to do both at the same time,” Snyder said.

This month, Snyder sounded less sure about a future in MMA.

Is he planning to compete in the UFC?

“Yeah, possibly, but not for a while,” he said. “I want to just wrestle for a while, become the best wrestler I can be, but if could do both, that would be pretty cool because nobody’s ever done that before, but it would be pretty difficult.”

Snyder is a 2014 Coronado High School graduate who drew inspiration from Henry Cejudo. Like Snyder, Cejudo is a Coronado grad and Olympic gold medalist in wrestling.

Cejudo, who won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games, made the jump from wrestling to MMA. He has struggled with injury and making weight.

“Henry’s a great athlete, and he’s had a lot of success, but it’s a very physical sport, so there’s definitely more risk to it than just wrestling,” Snyder said.

Snyder is training at the Olympic Training Center in preparation for the Aug. 21-26 World Wrestling Championships in France. Snyder won the gold medal in the 97-kg competition at the 2016 Rio Games.