At 21 years old, Henry Cejudo became the youngest American to win a gold medal in Olympic wrestling, when he swept through the 55kg freestyle field at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. When he returned home, Cejudo began to immerse himself in boxing training, winning tournaments in Arizona and training with Freddie Roach. Before long, Bellator approached him with an offer to join their Season Three bantamweight tournament. “I was close enough to signing with Bellator that they faxed the papers over and I was ready to sign them,” Cejudo said. “I thought about it for a day and during that time I got a call from USA wrestling about me coming back. I had a decision to make, and I think I just see myself with another gold medal and maybe doing MMA afterward.”
Cejudo now plans to compete at the 2012 Games in London. His comeback began yesterday evening at the “USA vs. Russia”-themed Beat the Streets 2011 Gala in New York City’s Times Square, where he competed in wrestling for the first time since Beijing. Cejudo faced Junior World bronze medalist Rasul Mashezov and won 2-0, 4-3. The American team beat the Russians 5-2 overall, aided by wins from 2010 U.S. Open champion Jordan Burroughs and 2009 World bronze medalist Tervel Dlagnev.