Former Iowa State wrestler Kyven Gadson will be competing for a World Team spot on Saturday at the Final X series in Lincoln, Neb.
Gadson will be wrestling against phenom Kyle Snyder, who Gadson has faced five times, at 97 kilograms.
Gadson has beaten Snyder twice in folkstyle, including a pin in the 2015 NCAA Championship match, to give Gadson his first and only NCAA gold medal.
At the international level, folkstyle isn’t practiced. Snyder has beaten Gadson three times at freestyle — one of two international disciplines, the other being Greco-Roman.
At their last meeting at Final X, Snyder beat Gadson in the best-of-three series 9-0 and 10-2 to qualify for the U.S. as the No. 1 wrestler heading into the 2018 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
In the championship match, Snyder faced Russia’s Abdulrashid Sadulaev for the second time.
To win the gold medal, Sadulaev pinned Snyder in 1:12 minutes and gave Snyder his first loss ever at the World or Olympic level.
Sadulaev was the 2016 Olympic gold medalist at 86 kilograms and Snyder was the gold medalist at 97 kilograms.
Snyder beat Sadulaev in the 2017 World Championships 6-5 after Sadulaev moved up a weight class to challenge Snyder. Snyder’s win gave the U.S. a one-point lead, and the American team won their first World Team Title since 1995.
The loss by Sadulaev was his first since 2013.
Against Snyder, Gadson will be facing an opponent whose only loss at the Olympics or World level came at the hands of the pound-for-pound best wrestler in the world, according to FloWrestling.
Whoever wins the best-of-three series between Gadson and Snyder will be the U.S. team's No. 1 option at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships at Nursultan, Kazakhstan.
Gadson and Snyder’s bout will be the sixth of nine to wrestle starting at 6 p.m. which can be viewed on flowrestling.org.