Interview: Tim Snyder

Fighting is the only thing I am passionate about.

Tim Snyder

Interview by: AJ Hoffman

As someone who has been around Paradigm’s Tim Snyder when he is training, I can attest to the fact that he is one of the hardest working guys in Houston. Not many guys live and breathe the sport to the level that he does. As he gets ready for his April 9th fight against Alex Black for Legacy, Snyder looks to bring that work ethic with him in a fight that could move him to top contender status at 145 lbs.

TCD: Talk about your background. When did you start training and who have you trained under? What made you want to get into the sport?

Snyder: I started training with Saul (Soliz) about 9 years ago. I had a hard life growing up. Mom was into drugs and things like that. I was watching the old UFC’s and told myself this is what I wanted to do. My buddies and I always wrestled. Bart Stewart introduced me to Saul, I gave him $100 and the rest is history. I didn’t have a fighting background before it. No wrestling. Just played sports. I moved down here from Michigan, and none of the schools had wrestling down here. I started with a clean slate when it came to this.

TCD: What would you consider your strengths as a fighter? What are your weaknesses?

Snyder: My cardio is a strength, but my main strength is just that I love to fight. Saul told me a long time ago. You have to love to fight. You can’t love to learn it. I spar, and I like getting hit. My standup is my go to, and I am a crowd pleaser. As far as weaknesses, people think it is wrestling and BJJ, but food is probably the biggest one. Food is my biggest fight. Having to diet is rough. I like people to think that it’s wrestling and jiu jitsu, but it’s ice cream.

TCD: What do you do besides fight and train? You have any other jobs or hobbies?

Snyder: I don’t do much. I train all day. I work at the gym. The only guys I hang out with are my training partners. Fighting is the only thing I am passionate about. Training and fighting. Like Mike B. (Bronzoulis) said. This isn’t some new thing or fad to me. This is my whole life.

TCD: You just got back from trying out for The Ultimate Fighter. Was it what you expected? After going through the process would you try it again, or do you think there are better ways to make the big leagues?

Snyder: It was an ok experience. It was nice going to New York. I had never been there. They have already hand picked the guys they want though. They want guys that are good for the show. I saw them cut some really good guys. Then I saw guys who got submitted twice in the first session that made it through. I don’t think they really gave me a serious look. I would do it again, but I kind of feel like it was a waste of time and money. They have the guys they want, and a lot of it is about who you know. It was nice to see some of the talent out there, that maybe I will be fighting soon, as well as some of the guys I have already fought.

TCD: You started out your career 9-2-1, and then you hit a 4 fight losing streak. What do you think was going wrong then, and what have you done to fix it since?

Snyder: I was going through a lot of family problems. I lost my nephew, who was 2, and it really hurt me for a long time. He was really special to me, and that is still tough to deal with. On top of that, I was taking fights I shouldn’t have taken. I was injured, but this is what I do. If I am hurt, I am going to still fight and give it my all. I would love to fight those guys again. I have always tried to give rematches, and would love to have a chance to get back at them. But, I wasn’t right in the head, and I just wasn’t stable. It all effects you when you get in the cage. You have to be clicking when you get in there. I am on track right now though. I am strong, my cardio is good and I have a great team backing me here at Paradigm. I feel blessed that we all came over here together, and these guys have been beyond supportive. Being with a good group of guys in a positive atmosphere, makes everything better.

TCD: Talk about your last fight. It was your first finish since 2007. How much better is that feeling of not leaving it up to the judges?

Snyder: I would love to finish every fight. No one wants to leave it to the judges. It was a good feeling to win in the first round. But really, it was just a win. I will go the distance if I have to. I know fans don’t always like it, but it takes a lot of balls to get in that cage no matter how you fight. 10-0 or 0-10. Boring or exciting. You get in there, and I respect you.

TCD: What do you think of Alex Black? How do you match up with him, and how do you think his last fight will play into his plan for this fight?

Snyder: He is a really tough kid. He is young and hungry, and that’s good. I love when opponents are hungry. I think we make for a good matchup. I think that loss may have made him stronger. You learn more from your losses than your wins. It may change his game plan, but it may be a good thing for him. I don’t think he did anything wrong. It just happens. People get caught. It has happened to me. Anything can happen in a fight. It will be a good fight, and I think the crowd will like what they see. He will be fired up and he will be looking to make a point. He isn’t going to back down, and I have a lot of respect for him. I have more experience, but like I said before- it’s a fight, and anything can happen.

TCD: You being a lighter weight guy, when fight day comes around does it help that most of your sparring partners are so much bigger than you?

Snyder: I like to think it helps. I have always had bigger guys to train with, so when I get in there and go with someone my size it feels good. But I have guys my size here too at Paradigm. We have big, strong guys and small, quick guys. Size doesn’t matter once I am in there.

TCD: What’s next for you after this fight? Do you think a win puts you in the mix for a Legacy title shot?

Snyder: This fight will put whoever wins into contention, I think. Daniel Pineda and I are good friends. We have talked about it before. A lot of people would love to see us fight. It almost happened once, and it fell through. We agree that business is business, but it wouldn’t be cheap. When it comes down to fighting your friends, it has to be worth it. I was surprised that they didn’t give Alex a shot before me because of where he is ranked, but I am glad to have this opportunity.

TCD: Anyone you want to thank?

Snyder: Obviously above all I want to thank God. Without him none of this is possible. He has been with me since day 1. I want to thank Paradigm. They have done everything for me. I am blessed to be here with these guys. This is the second time they have sponsored me, and I would recommend anyone who needs supplements to check them out. The Lot on Washington. They have been a big help to me too. The owners, the managers, everybody. They have been like family. My after party is there too, so come on by after the fights. Aaron Barringer, my last opponent helped me out to get them on board. Great MMA clothing there. Check them out. And Clinch Gear. They are making all my shorts and walk out shirt and banner.  I also want to thank my friends, family and training partners. Mike Bronzoulis. He helped me through some tough times, and he is like a brother. Brian (Melancon) and my boy (Jimmy)Moss. He is always in my corner and is a great motivator. Also, I want to thank my girlfriend Mandy for being so supportive. She is always understanding when it comes to me training so much, and that is something that is really hard to find.