Henry Cejudo

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Henry Cejudo
Born (1987-02-09) February 9, 1987 (age 28)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Other names The Messenger
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Weight 125 lb (57 kg; 8 st 13 lb)
Division Flyweight
Reach 64.0 in (163 cm)[1]
Style Freestyle Wrestling, Muay Thai
Fighting out of Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Rank Grand Master of Sports in Freestyle Wrestling
Wrestling Olympic Gold Medalist
Years active 2013–present (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total 8
Wins 8
By knockout 3
By submission 1
By decision 4
Losses 0
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Henry Cejudo
Born (1987-02-09) February 9, 1987 (age 28)
Los Angeles, California, United States
State championships 4 ( 2 Arizona, 2 Colorado)
Olympic team United States of America
Olympic medal Gold
Olympic medal record
Competitor for the  United States
Men's Freestyle Wrestling
Olympic Games
Gold 2008 Beijing Freestyle 55 kg
Pan American Games
Gold 2007 Rio de Janeiro -55 kg

Henry Carlos Cejudo (born February 9, 1987) is an American freestyle wrestler, Olympic gold medalist, mixed martial artist[2] and author. He became an Olympic gold medalist at 21 years old, the youngest American wrestler to do so.[3] Cejudo debuted in the bantamweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in December 2014 at UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic.


Cejudo, the youngest of six children, was born on February 9, 1987, in South Central Los Angeles, California, to Mexican parents. Cejudo’s father, who was frequently in and out of the California penal system, was absent from Henry’s life starting at a young age. In 1991, Henry’s mother made the decision to move to Las Cruces, New Mexico, to raise her six young children on her own. She frequently had to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. As a result, Henry’s early childhood was spent moving from state to state, until his family finally settled in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Cejudo children were raised in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Las Cruces, and Phoenix. All six children slept on the floor and often did not know where their next meal would come from. Motivated by the hardships of his childhood, Henry immersed himself in school and athletics. Although the odds were stacked against him, he used wrestling to keep him out of trouble. Henry’s brother, Angel, introduced him to the sport of wrestling. From the beginning he was determined to prove himself to the world and to the father that he never really knew. Driven by desire, Henry was focused on winning the World and Olympic championships.

Henry and his brother dominated the competition while attending high school. Impressed by their accomplishments, the national developmental freestyle coach for USA Wrestling invited both Angel and Henry to attend the resident freestyle program at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Henry completed his education while attending the program. Upon graduation, he took the bold and highly unusual road to the Olympic gold, foregoing the customary route of a collegiate wrestling program. Henry began training full-time at the Olympic Training Center to prepare for the 2008 Summer Olympics. He then went on to represent the U.S.A. in the Beijing Olympics and brought home the gold. Henry not only achieved his dream of becoming an Olympic champion, but also made history by becoming the youngest American wrestler to ever win an Olympic gold medal.

Henry also has a nephew named Adrian Cordova that was a two-time Colorado State Champion in wrestling, he is currently committed to Iowa State.

Wrestling career[edit]

Henry captured four high school wrestling state championships (two in Colorado, two in Arizona). He was awarded (the title) ASICS National High School Wrestler of the Year (2006).

He participated in two Junior World Championships, placing fifth in 2005 and second in 2006. That same year, Henry became the first high schooler to win U.S. Nationals since USA Wrestling's formation as the sport's national body in 1983.[4] Cejudo decided to skip wrestling at the college level and instead accepted an offer from USA wrestling to train at their main facilities in Colorado Springs, Colorado.[5] Henry won the Pan American Championships in March 2008.[6] Henry Cejudo is the youngest of seven siblings including Angel Cejudo four time state champ at Maryvale High School (Phoenix, Arizona).

2008 Beijing Olympics[edit]

Henry qualified for the Olympics in the 55 kg, (121 pound) weight class. He entered the competition in the Round of 16. In his first round match, against Bulgaria's Radoslav Velikov, Henry lost the first period, 2-1, and was forced to win both of the remaining periods to win the match.[7]

In the quarterfinals, Henry faced Georgian wrestler Besarion Gochashvilli and again lost the first period, but bounced back to win the last two periods to advance.[8]

In the semifinals, Henry again was forced to win the last two periods but did so for the third time in the tournament, defeating Azerbaijani wrestler Namig Sevdimov to advance to the gold medal match.[7]

For the gold medal match, Cejudo faced Japanese wrestler Tomohiro Matsunaga and, for the first time in the tournament, was able to win the first two periods which secured the gold medal.[9]

2012 Olympic Trials[edit]

After losing in the 2012 Olympic Trials, Henry Cejudo removed his shoes on the mat and threw them out into the crowd, officially retiring from wrestling. Immediately at the end of the match he lost, the crowd of fans in the arena rose in a standing ovation to recognize his achievements. As he removed his shoes, the roar of applause grew and continued to rise as he left the mat.

Wrestling credentials[edit]


  • NYAC Holiday Tournament champion
  • Finished fifth at the Sunkist Kids International Open
  • Finished fifth at the Junior World Championships


  • ASICS National High School Wrestler of the Year
  • Second at the Junior World Championships
  • FILA Junior World Team Trials champion
  • Pan American Championships gold medalist
  • Second at the U.S. World Team Trials
  • U.S. Nationals champion


  • Pan American Games gold medalist
  • U.S. World Team Trials champion
  • DNP at the World Championships
  • U.S. Nationals champion
  • Fifth at the Kiev International
  • Second at the Takhti Cup (Iran)
  • Third place at the Golden Grand-prix Ivan Yarygin (Krasnoyarsk, Russia)


  • Olympic gold medalist - youngest Olympic wrestling champion in U.S. history
  • Pan American Championships gold medalist
  • Second at the U.S. Nationals
  • U.S. Olympic Team Trials champion


  • After going 2-1 at the trials Henry falls to Nick Simmons eliminating the chance to make the Olympic Team
  • Instead of ceremoniously leaving his shoes on the mat signifying retirement, he tossed them in to a standing ovation at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

Additional Wrestling Accolades

  • Four-time state champion (two in Arizona, two in Colorado).
  • Two-time ASICS High School First Team member
  • First high-school wrestler to win U.S. Nationals since USA Wrestling became the sport's national governing body in 1983
  • Nationally ranked number one at 125 pounds by Wrestling International News magazine
  • Rocky Mountain Nationals Champion

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

On Jan. 30, 2013, Cejudo announced on his Twitter page that he plans to begin training for a career in MMA.[10][11] Despite wrestling at 121 pounds during his wrestling career, Cejudo fought at 135 pounds in his MMA debut.[12] He defeated Michael Poe by submission due to punches in his MMA debut on March 2, 2013, for the Arizona-based World Fighting Federation.[13]

Over the next year, Cejudo amassed an undefeated record of 6-0 with three wins by TKO, one by submission, and two by decision. Prior to signing with the UFC, Cejudo was listed as the #1 ranked bantamweight prospect in the MMA Prospects Report 2013.[14]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

On July 25, 2014, Cejudo signed with the UFC.[15] He is the third Olympic gold medalist wrestler in company history, after Mark Schultz and Kevin Jackson.[16] Cejudo was expected to face Scott Jorgensen on August 30, 2014 at UFC 177.[17] However, due to medical issues on the day of the weigh-ins, Cejudo was forced out of the bout and the fight was subsequently cancelled.[18] In light of this, and his history of missing weight, president Dana White said Cejudo must either move up to bantamweight or leave the UFC.[19]

In his eventual debut, Cejudo faced Dustin Kimura in a bantamweight bout on December 13, 2014 at UFC on Fox 13.[20] Cejudo won the fight by unanimous decision.[21]

Cejudo faced Chris Cariaso in a flyweight bout on March 14, 2015 at UFC 185.[22] He won the fight by unanimous decision.

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 8–0 Chris Cariaso Decision (unanimous) UFC 185 March 14, 2015 3 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States Flyweight debut.
Win 7–0 Dustin Kimura Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic December 13, 2014 3 5:00 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Return to Bantamweight.
Win 6–0 Elias Garcia Decision (unanimous) Legacy FC 27 January 31, 2014 3 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States Catchweight (128 lbs) bout; Cejudo missed weight.
Win 5–0 Ryan Hollis Decision (unanimous) Legacy FC 24 October 11, 2013 3 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States Catchweight (128 lbs) bout.
Win 4–0 Miguelito Marti TKO (punches) Gladiator Challenge: American Dream May 18, 2013 1 1:43 Lincoln, California, United States
Win 3–0 Anthony Sessions TKO (punches) WFF 10: Cejudo v Sessions April 19, 2013 1 4:23 Chandler, Arizona, United States Won WFF Bantamweight Championship.
Win 2–0 Sean Henry Barnett TKO (punches) Gladiator Challenge: Battleground March 24, 2013 1 4:55 San Jacinto, California, United States
Win 1–0 Michael Poe Submission (punches) WFF MMA: Pascua Yaqui Fights 4 March 2, 2013 1 1:25 Tucson, Arizona, United States

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fight Card - UFC 185 Pettis vs. Dos Anjos". UFC.com. Retrieved March 14, 2015. 
  2. ^ "2008 Gold medal Olympian Henry Cejudo coming to MMA". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "USA Wrestling - Features, Events, Results - Team USA". Team USA. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ "USA Wrestling - Features, Events, Results - Team USA". Team USA. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  7. ^ a b [3][dead link]
  8. ^ [4][dead link]
  9. ^ [5][dead link]
  10. ^ "Henry Cejudo on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Cejudo: ‘MMA, Here I Come!’". Sherdog. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo to fight at 135 in spring MMA debut". MMAjunkie. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Cejudo Cruises in MMA Debut at World Fighting Federation". Sherdog. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  14. ^ D.C. Ross. "Henry Cejudo : MMA Prospects Report 2013". Ranking MMA. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  15. ^ "UFC signs Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "UFC Olympic Gold medailst wrestlers". Retrieved 2014-08-28. 
  17. ^ "Henry Cejudo Signs With the UFC, Will Meet Scott Jorgensen at UFC 177". cagepotato.com. 2014-07-25. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  18. ^ "Medical issue forces Henry Cejudo out of UFC 177 fight with Scott Jorgensen". mmajunkie.com. 2014-08-29. Retrieved 2014-08-29. 
  19. ^ "Former Olympian Henry Cejudo must move to 135 to continue fighting in the UFC". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  20. ^ Dave Doyle (2014-10-20). "Henry Cejudo meets Dustin Kimura in UFC on FOX 13 bantamweight bout". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2014-10-20. 
  21. ^ Ben Fowlkes (2014-12-13). "UFC on FOX 13 results: Henry Cejudo outboxes Dustin Kimura for debut win". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-12-13. 
  22. ^ Staff (2015-01-12). "Chris Cariaso-Henry Cejudo flyweight bout added to UFC 185". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2015-01-12. 

External links[edit]