(We still liked it better when Brandi Chastain did it. Photo via FOX News.)
The mixed martial arts career of Henry Cejudo is off to a promising start, to say the least. Already holding the honor of being the youngest American wrestler to ever take gold in the Olympics, Cejudo made the switch to MMA last March and has already reeled off four first round finishes in the time since. And while his opponents haven’t exactly been the caliber of, say, Ronda Rousey’s first few, comparisons between the two are being made nonetheless.
And now, it appears the bantamweight prospect will be thrust back into the limelight once again (albeit a much dimmer one), as word broke yesterday that the Olympian has signed with well known Texas-based promotion Legacy FC. In addition, Cejudo is primed to make his debut on Oct. 11 against 4-1 Ryan “Riptide” Hollis at the Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas. The event will air live on AXS TV.
The four time high school state wrestling champion spoke elatedly with MMAJunkie:
It was very important to me to join a professional organization that will allow me the opportunity to continue to grow as an MMA athlete. It was equally important for me to partner with an organization that has an established track record of helping fighters grow into world-class athletes and champions. I want to fight for a credible organization and face high-caliber opponents. Legacy is that organization and has made that commitment to me.
After the jump: Cejudo’s aforementioned victory over Matsunaga in the Beijing games, a brief glimpse at Cejudo’s MMA skills via some Spanish news site and a video of Hollis’ most recent performance.
After defeating Japan’s Tomohiro Matsunaga to secure the gold in the Beijing 2008 games, Cejudo failed to make the cut in 2012. As a result, he ceremoniously took off his shoes, unceremoniously threw them into the crowd and retired from the sport. Because, let’s be honest, how embarrassing would it be if someone made the universal gesture for retirement only to accept a fight a few weeks later?
In any case, Cejudo announced that he was making the transition to MMA earlier this year. It would appear that he is a fast learner.
Being that his first four opponents hold a combined record of something between Kenneth Allen and Jason Reinhart in the UFC, it’s nice to see that Legacy will be giving Cejudo no easy test in Hollis for his promotional debut. Then again, Hollis is a natural flyweight whose 4 victories (2 TKO, 2 Sub) have come over similarly outmatched opponents. Opponents like the 8-12 Randy Villareal, who Hollis recently defeated via upkick KO at Big Dawg Promotions (*shudder*) in March. A video of said KO is below.
An impressive KO for sure, and one made all the more impressive by the fact that Villareal was apparently “being a butthead the whole time before the fight!” so sayeth the Youtube uploader. Surely Ruben, Chief of the Villareal tribe, will not stand for this act of disrespect.
Does anyone see Cejudo using his grappling background to notch another quick victory, or will Hollis prove too much for the Olympian in his (semi) mainstream debut? While you discuss that, make sure to also harass Sherdog — who mislabelled the above KO as the result of a “Punch” — via the social networking site of your choice until they give Hollis his due credit.