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Henry Cejudo

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Henry Cejudo
Henry Cejudo smiling.jpg
Cejudo interviewed in 2018
Born (1987-02-09) February 9, 1987 (age 33)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Other namesThe Messenger
NationalityAmerican
Height5 ft 4 in (163 cm)[1]
Weight135 lb (61 kg; 9 st 9 lb)
DivisionFlyweight
Bantamweight
Reach64 in (163 cm)[2]
StyleWrestling
Fighting out ofPhoenix, Arizona, United States
TeamFight Ready
TrainerEric Albarracin[3]
RankYellow belt in Shotokan Karate[4]
WrestlingOlympic Freestyle Wrestling[5]
Years active2013–2020
Mixed martial arts record
Total18
Wins16
By knockout8
By decision8
Losses2
By knockout1
By decision1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Henry Carlos Cejudo (born February 9, 1987) is an American retired mixed martial artist and freestyle wrestler. He was signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and is the former UFC flyweight champion and UFC bantamweight champion. He is the fourth UFC fighter to hold titles in two different weight classes simultaneously, and the second to defend titles in two different weight divisions.

During his freestyle wrestling career, Cejudo won an Olympic Gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics, a Pan American Championship, and was a two-time USA National Team member.

On May 9, 2020, Cejudo successfully defended his UFC bantamweight title by knocking out Dominick Cruz in the second round. He announced his retirement from professional fighting immediately after the fight, although there was widespread speculation that the retirement would be temporary.[6] Less than a month later, Cejudo announced that he would come out of retirement if he could fight Alexander Volkanovski. His goal would be to claim the UFC featherweight championship, which would be his third title in a different weight class.[7]

Background

Born to Mexican immigrants Jorge Cejudo and Nelly Rico in Los Angeles, California, Henry Cejudo is the second youngest child of the family.[8][9] As a result of his violent father's drug and alcohol abuse, Cejudo's family constantly moved around the Los Angeles area.[8]

Four-year old Henry and the rest of the children with her, Nelly fled to New Mexico before Jorge – who was jailed after threatening to kill his whole family and subsequently getting into an altercation in the street – was released.[8] Jorge would later be deported and end up deceased when Henry was about 20 years old.[8] After a couple of years in New Mexico, the family relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. In Phoenix, the family lived in Maryvale in poverty despite their mother working multiple jobs to make the ends meet.[10][8]

Cejudo also never slept alone in his own bed until he was provided one by U.S.A. Wrestling while participating in a residency program at the U.S. Olympic training facility.[11] Henry also started competing as an amateur boxer, and won the annual state Copper Gloves boxing tournament in 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.[12][13][14]

Wrestling career

Inspired by his older brother Angel, who was a four-time state champion with a record of 150 wins and zero defeats,[15] Henry also became a four-time high school state champion. His freshman and sophomore year titles were won in Arizona, before he moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to become a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. He won the Colorado state high school championships as a junior and senior, and was named ASICS National High School Wrestler of the Year in 2006. In the same year, he was selected in the Wrestling USA Magazine’s Dream Team of High School All-Americans. [16]

In 2006, while still in high school, Cejudo won the USA Wrestling national freestyle championship.[17] Soon after his victory, he began full-time training at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.[18]

Following successful performances at the Pan American Games and Pan American Championships, Cejudo won a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. At the time, he was the youngest American to become an Olympic champion in freestyle wrestling.[19] After the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Cejudo took an extended break from competition, before retiring from freestyle wrestling in 2012.[20]

Mixed martial arts career

Early career

On January 30, 2013, Cejudo announced on his Twitter page that he planned to begin training for a career in MMA.[21][22] Despite wrestling at 121 pounds during his wrestling career, Cejudo fought at 135 pounds in his MMA debut.[23] He defeated Michael Poe by TKO due to punches in his MMA debut on March 2, 2013, for the Arizona-based World Fighting Federation.[24]

Over the next year, Cejudo amassed a 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.[25]

Ultimate Fighting Championship

On July 25, 2014, Cejudo signed with the UFC.[26] He is the third Olympic gold medalist wrestler in company history, after Mark Schultz and Kevin Jackson.[27] Cejudo was expected to face Scott Jorgensen on August 30, 2014, at UFC 177.[28] However, due to medical issues on the day of the weigh-ins, Cejudo was forced out of the bout and the fight was subsequently canceled.[29] In light of this, and his history of missing weight, president Dana White said Cejudo had to move up to bantamweight or leave the UFC.[30]

In his eventual debut, Cejudo faced Dustin Kimura in a bantamweight bout on December 13, 2014, at UFC on Fox 13.[31] Cejudo won the fight by unanimous decision.[32]

Cejudo faced Chris Cariaso in a flyweight bout on March 14, 2015, at UFC 185.[33] He won the fight by unanimous decision.[34]

Cejudo faced Chico Camus on June 13, 2015, at UFC 188.[35] He won the fight by unanimous decision.[36]

Cejudo was briefly linked to a bout against former title challenger Joseph Benavidez on September 5, 2015, at UFC 191.[37] However, the fight did not take place at the event. In turn, Cejudo faced Jussier Formiga on November 21, 2015, at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale.[38] He won the fight by split decision.[39]

On September 16, 2015, Cejudo announced that he would refuse to fight in Nevada after the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended and fined Nick Diaz following a failed drug test at UFC 182. Cejudo cited the NSAC's process in determining Diaz's guilt as the reason for the boycott.[40] Despite the lack of change in NSAC procedure, Cejudo ended his Nevada boycott to face UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson on April 23, 2016, at UFC 197 for the Flyweight title.[41] He lost the fight via TKO in the first round, being dropped with a variety of strikes.[42]

In May 2016, the UFC announced that Cejudo would be one of the coaches, opposite Joseph Benavidez on The Ultimate Fighter 24. The pairing faced each other on December 3, 2016, at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale.[43][44] Cejudo lost the back-and-forth fight via split decision.[45]

Cejudo was expected to face Sergio Pettis on May 13, 2017, at UFC 211.[46] However, on May 10, Cejudo pulled out of the fight with a hand injury and the bout was canceled.[47]

Cejudo faced Wilson Reis on September 9, 2017, at UFC 215.[48] He won the fight via TKO in the second round.[49] This win also won Cejudo his first Performance of the Night bonus award.[50]

A rescheduled fight with Pettis took place on December 2, 2017, at UFC 218.[51] Cejudo won the fight by unanimous decision.[52]

Double Champion

Two years after challenging for the Flyweight title, Cejudo faced Demetrious Johnson in a rematch for UFC Flyweight Championship title in the co-main event at UFC 227 on August 4, 2018.[53][54] Cejudo went on to win the back-and-forth fight via split decision to become the UFC's second Flyweight champion and first Olympic gold medalist to capture UFC gold.[55] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[56] 13 of 25 media outlets scored the bout in favor of Cejudo, while 12 scored it for Johnson.[57]

In November 2018, Cejudo revealed that he had signed a six-fight contract with UFC.[58]

In the first defense of his UFC Flyweight Championship, Cejudo was initially scheduled to face UFC Bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw on January 26, 2019, at UFC 233.[59] However, after that pay-per-view event was canceled, the fight was moved a week earlier to headline UFC Fight Night 143 on January 19, 2019.[60][61] It was the first title fight to showcase the new UFC legacy belt. Cejudo won the fight via TKO just 32 seconds into the first round to retain his title.[62] The win also earned Cejudo his second Performance of the Night bonus award.[63] On 9 April 2019, USADA announced that Dillashaw had tested positive for EPO in pre and post-fight screenings and had been suspended for two years.[64] Cejudo faced Marlon Moraes on June 8, 2019 at UFC 238 for the vacant UFC Bantamweight Championship.[65] He won the fight via TKO in the third round.[66] This win made Cejudo the fourth fighter to hold championships simultaneously in two weight divisions in UFC, and earned him the Performance of the Night award. Cejudo became inactive until 2020 due to a shoulder injury.[67]

In December 2019, Cejudo agreed to relinquish the UFC Flyweight title in order to focus on the bantamweight division.[68]

UFC Bantamweight Champion

Cejudo faced Marlon Moraes on June 8, 2019 at UFC 238 for the vacant UFC Bantamweight Championship.[69] He won the fight via TKO in the third round.[66] This win made Cejudo the fourth fighter to hold championships simultaneously in two weight divisions in UFC, and earned him the Performance of the Night award. Cejudo became inactive until 2020 due to a shoulder injury.[67]

Cejudo was scheduled to face José Aldo on May 9, 2020 at UFC 250.[70] However, Aldo pulled out on April 8 due to visa issues. Cejudo faced a replacement in Dominick Cruz on May 9, 2020 at UFC 249.[71] Cejudo successfully defended his UFC bantamweight title by knocking out Cruz in the second round. Cejudo hit Cruz with a knee to the face that dropped Cruz to the canvas; he then rained punches on Cruz until the referee stopped the fight with 2 seconds remaining in the round.

Retirement controversy

Immediately after the Cruz fight, Cejudo announced his retirement from professional fighting[6] The announcement was met with some skepticism, as various UFC commentators and fighters stated their opinion that Cejudo was using the announcement as a contract negotiation ploy.[72] Fellow fighter Petr Yan commented that he thought Cejudo was retiring in order to avoid fighting him.[72] Yan and another UFC bantamweight contender, Aljamain Sterling, called on UFC President Dana White to vacate the bantamweight title and allow the pair to fight for it.[73]

Cejudo himself admitted at the post-fight press conference that he would fight again if UFC President Dana White offered him enough money, stating, "He knows the number, but let all these other bantamweights kill each other."[74]

A week later, Cejudo's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, stated in an interview that Cejudo was not retired, and would probably return to fighting in the summer of 2020.[75] On May 24, the UFC officially vacated the bantamweight title and removed Cejudo's name from their rankings.[76]

On June 8, 2020, Cejudo announced that he would be willing to come out of retirement to fight Alexander Volkanovski in order to claim the UFC featherweight championship, which would be his third title in a different weight class.[7]

Championships and achievements

Mixed martial arts

Freestyle wrestling

2011
  • 2nd place, silver medalist(s) Henri Deglane Challenge
  • 1st place, gold medalist(s) Sunkist Kids International Open
2008
  • 1st place, gold medalist(s) Summer Olympics (55 kg)
  • 1st place, gold medalist(s) Pan American Championships (55 kg)
  • 1st place, gold medalist(s) US Olympic Team Trials (55 kg)
  • 2nd place, silver medalist(s) U.S Senior National Championship (55 kg)
  • John Smith Award winner[82]
2007
  • 1st place, gold medalist(s) Pan American Games
  • 1st place, gold medalist(s) Pan American Championships
  • 1st place, gold medalist(s) US World Team Trials (55 kg)
  • 1st place, gold medalist(s) U.S Senior National Championship (55 kg)
2006
  • 1st place, gold medalist(s) Pan American Championships
  • 2nd place, silver medalist(s) US World Team Trials (55 kg)
  • 1st place, gold medalist(s) U.S Senior National Championship (55 kg)

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
18 matches 16 wins 2 losses
By knockout 8 1
By decision 8 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 16–2 Dominick Cruz TKO (knee and punches) UFC 249 May 9, 2020 2 4:58 Jacksonville, Florida, United States Defended the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Retired after bout. Title vacated on May 24, 2020.
Win 15–2 Marlon Moraes TKO (punches) UFC 238 June 8, 2019 3 4:51 Chicago, Illinois, United States Won the vacant UFC Bantamweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 14–2 T.J. Dillashaw TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw January 19, 2019 1 0:32 Brooklyn, New York, United States Defended the UFC Flyweight Championship. Performance of the Night. Dillashaw tested positive in pre and post-fight drug tests for erythropoietin (EPO). Cejudo vacated the title on February 29, 2020.
Win 13–2 Demetrious Johnson Decision (split) UFC 227 August 4, 2018 5 5:00 Los Angeles, California, United States Won the UFC Flyweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 12–2 Sergio Pettis Decision (unanimous) UFC 218 December 2, 2017 3 5:00 Detroit, Michigan, United States
Win 11–2 Wilson Reis TKO (punches) UFC 215 September 9, 2017 2 0:25 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Performance of the Night.
Loss 10–2 Joseph Benavidez Decision (split) The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions Finale December 3, 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Cejudo was deducted one point in round 1 due to repeated low blows.
Loss 10–1 Demetrious Johnson TKO (knees and punches) UFC 197 April 23, 2016 1 2:49 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For the UFC Flyweight Championship.
Win 10–0 Jussier Formiga Decision (split) The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale: Magny vs. Gastelum November 21, 2015 3 5:00 Monterrey, Mexico
Win 9–0 Chico Camus Decision (unanimous) UFC 188 June 13, 2015 3 5:00 Mexico City, Mexico
Win 8–0 Chris Cariaso Decision (unanimous) UFC 185 March 14, 2015 3 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States
Win 7–0 Dustin Kimura Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic December 13, 2014 3 5:00 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Bantamweight bout.
Win 6–0 Elias Garcia Decision (unanimous) Legacy FC 27 January 31, 2014 3 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States Flyweight debut; Cejudo missed weight (128.5 lbs).
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 the vacant 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 TKO (punches) WFF MMA: Pascua Yaqui Fights 4 March 2, 2013 1 1:25 Tucson, Arizona, United States Bantamweight debut.

[83]

Freestyle record

World Championships & Olympic Games Matches
Res. Record Opponent Score Date Event Location
2012 US Olympic Team Trials 5th at 55kg
Loss 38–12 United States Ben Kjar Forfeit April 21, 2012 2012 US Olympic Team Trials United States Iowa City, Iowa
Loss 38–11 United States Nick Simmons 0-3, 9-5, 2-5
Win 38–10 United States Obe Blanc 1-0, 2-0
Win 37–10 United States Earl Hall 1-1, 5-3
2011 Henri Deglane 2nd place, silver medalist(s) at 55kg
Loss 36–10 Monaco Ghenadie Tulbea 1-3, 2-6 October 28, 2011 2011 Henri Deglane Challenge France Nice, France
Win 36–9 Spain Rodrigo Rodriguez 2-0, 6-0
Win 35–9 France Chakir Ansari 4-0, 2-2, 2-1
2011 Sunkist Open 1st place, gold medalist(s) at 55kg
Win 34–9 United States Danny Felix 0-0, 1-0 October 28, 2011 2011 Sunkist International Open United States Mesa, Arizona
Win 33–9 Uzbekistan Jarrod Patterson 4-0, 8-2
Win 32–9 Canada Aso Palani 2-0, 3-2
Win 31–9 United States Ben Kjar 1-0, 1-0
2008 Summer Olympics 1st place, gold medalist(s) at 55kg
Win 30–9 Japan Tomohiro Matsunaga 2-0, 3-0 August 19, 2008 2008 Summer Olympics China Beijing, China
Win 29–9 Azerbaijan Namig Sevdimov 3-5, 3-2, 4-3
Win 28–9 Georgia (country) Besarion Gochashvili 1-3, 3-2, 3-0
Win 27–9 Bulgaria Radoslav Velikov 0-1, 3-2, 4-3
2008 US Olympic Team Trials 1st place, gold medalist(s) at 55kg
Win 26–9 United States Stephen Abas 0-1, 3-0, 3-0 July 15, 2008 2008 US Olympic Team Trials United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Loss 25–9 United States Stephen Abas 0-2, 3-6
Win 25–8 United States Stephen Abas 3-2, 4-0
Win 24–8 United States Danny Felix 1-0, 1-0 2008 US Olympic Team Trials Challenge Tournament
Win 23–8 United States Grant Nakamura 5-0, 6-1
2008 US Nationals 2nd place, silver medalist(s) at 55kg
Loss 22–8 United States Matt Azevedo Fall April 26, 2008 2008 US Senior National Wrestling Championships United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 22–7 United States Danny Felix 1-0, 3-0
Win 21–7 United States Obe Blanc 1-0, 3-0
Win 20–7 United States Kelly Martinez Tech Fall 7-0, 7-0
2008 Pan American Championships 1st place, gold medalist(s) at 55kg
Win 19–7 Cuba Andy Gonzalez Fall March 2, 2008 2008 Pan American Wrestling Championships United States Colorado, United States
Win 18–7 Brazil Vinicius Pedrosa Tech Fall 6-0, 7-0
Win 17–7 Canada John Pineda 2-1, 2-2
2007 UWW world 31st at 55kg
Loss 16–7 Iran Taghi Dadashi 0-1, 0-4 September 17, 2007 2007 World Wrestling Championships Azerbaijan Baku, Azerbaijan
2007 US World Team Trials 1st place, gold medalist(s) at 55kg
Win 16–6 United States Matt Azevedo 4-1, 1-0 June 10, 2007 2007 US World Team Trials United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 15–6 United States Matt Azevedo 3-4, 3-3, 2-0
2007 US Nationals 1st place, gold medalist(s) at 55kg
Win 14–6 United States Nick Simmons 4-4, 4-3, 5-0 April 7, 2007 2007 US Senior National Wrestling Championships United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 13–6 United States Vic Moreno 2-1, 1-1, 2-1
Win 12–6 United States Patrick McCaffery 1-0, 1-0
Win 11–6 United States Michael Martinez 1-0, 3-0
2006 Sunkist Open at 55kg
Loss 10–6 United States Michael Dunkum Forfeit October 14, 2006 2006 Sunkist International Open United States Arizona, United States
Loss 10–5 Uzbekistan Erkin Tadzhimetov 1-4, 0-1
Win 10–4 United States Jamie Macari 2-2, 6-0
2006 US World Team Trials 2nd place, silver medalist(s) at 55kg
Loss 9–4 United States Sammie Henson 0-2, 2-3 June 28, 2006 2006 US World Team Trials United States Iowa, United States
Loss 9–3 United States Sammie Henson 3-1, 1-3, 0-2
Win 9–2 United States Luke Eustice 2-4, 3-2, 2-2 2006 US World Team Trials Challenge Tournament
Win 8–2 Puerto Rico Franklin Gómez 0-1, 2-1, 3-1
2006 US Nationals 1st place, gold medalist(s) at 55kg
Win 7–2 United States Matt Azevedo 0-1, 2-1, 4-2 April 15, 2006 2006 US Senior National Wrestling Championships United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 6–2 United States Luke Eustice 2-2, 3-1
Win 5–2 United States Mark Mcknight 2-2, 1-1
Win 4–2 United States Grant Nakamura 7-0, 2-1
2005 Sunkist Open 5th at 55kg
Win 3–2 United States Jeremy Mendoza 1-0, 4-0 October 23, 2005 2005 Sunkist International Open United States Arizona, United States
Loss 2–2 United States Matt Azevedo 0-2, 1-0, 2-4
Loss 2–1 United States Luke Eustice 0-3, 0-1
Win 2–0 United States Tanner Gardner 1-6, 7-0, 5-3
Win 1–0 United States Jason Powell 4-0, 3-4, 8-2

See also

References

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  3. ^ Chuck Mindenhall (February 8, 2019). "Captain Eric takes a victory lap". mmafighting.com.
  4. ^ https://conandaily.com/2019/01/20/ufc-flyweight-champion-henry-cejudo-beats-tj-dillashaw-dedicates-ufc-fight-night-143-win-to-all-flyweights/
  5. ^ "Henry Cejudo". teamusa.org. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Campbell, Morgan; Draper, Kevin (May 10, 2020). "U.F.C. 249 Live Updates and Results". New York TImes. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Seats, Alex (June 8, 2020). "Henry Cejudo wants to unretire to fight Volkanovski". 247Sports. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e Plaschke, Bill (November 9, 2009). American Victory: Wrestling, Dreams and a Journey Toward Home. ISBN 9780451228550.
  9. ^ Pugmire, Lance. "Henry Cejudo the gold medallist returns to his L.A. stomping grounds facing the toughest of tests in Demetrious Johnson - Los Angeles Times". latimes.com. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  10. ^ @HenryCejudo (June 4, 2020). "The American Dream is what I am. I would never be the person that I am today, if it wasn't for my humble beginnings. Just a immigrant son that made it out the hood #Maryvale" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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  12. ^ https://www.bloodyelbow.com/2013/1/30/3934064/2008-gold-medal-olympian-henry-cejudo-coming-to-mma
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  14. ^ https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2008-aug-20-sp-olyplaschke20-story.html
  15. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/20/sports/olympics/20cejudo.html
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External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Demetrious Johnson
2nd UFC Flyweight Champion
August 4, 2018 – May 9, 2020
Vacated
Vacant
Preceded by
T.J. Dillashaw
7th UFC Bantamweight Champion
Vacated
Vacant