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14 Years Ago Today Henry Cejudo Won Olympic Gold

Photo: Tony Rotundo

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14 years ago today in Beijing Henry Cejudo won olympic gold defeating Tomohiro Matsunaga of Japan. At the time this made him the youngest olympic wrestling champion in the history of the United States. A record that would be broken 8 years later by none other than Kyle Snyder.

Cejudo nowadays is mostly known for his UFC career where he was a double champ holding titles at flyweight and bantamweight and defending both of those titles as well. To add to this Cejudo is the only ever olympic gold medalist to win a UFC title as well.

In addition to the olympic gold medal Cejudo also has a bronze medal from the world cup in 2007, 3 gold medals from the Pan American championships (2006-08), and a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games.

To even get to the olympic games in 2008 was easier said that done having to get through returning silver medalist Stephan Abas who’s only loss was to Mavlet Batirov. He would end up defeating Abas 2-1 to secure himself a spot on the United States olympic team for Beijing.

The 2008 olympic games was where the legacy was made for Cejudo. he defeated Radoslav Velikov of Bulgaria in his round of 16 match, Besarion Gochashvili of Georgia in his quarterfinal match, Namig Sevdimov in his semifinal match and finally took out Tamohiro Matsunaga of Japan to claim olympic gold.

World or Olympic Champs in the weight class-

4x world champ Besik Kudukhov (RUS)

2x world champ Yang Kyong-il (PRK)

2x world champ Dilshod Mansurov (UZB)

1x world champ Radoslav Velikov (BUL)

Winning the gold medal in Beijing Cejudo had already cemented his legacy among the all time American greats and decided to take a break from the sport.

He announced in 2010 that he would be coming back to make a run at a second olympic gold medal but he was defeated by top seed Nick Simmons at the olympic trials. Cejudo would leave his shoes on the mat after that loss signifying his retirement form the sport of wrestling.

Cejudo made one appearance in wrestling after his retirement at the Iowa against the world event where he wrestled Tony Ramos. Cejudo would lead for a portion of the match but Ramos would mount a very big comeback to defeat Cejudo 10-8.

In 2013 he announced that he would be training for MMA. July 25th, 2014 is when he officially signed with the UFC and the third olympic gold medalist ever to sign with the organization, and the rest is history.

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