Henry Cejudo has accomplished many things in his illustrious career – and they all came before he ever stepped foot inside the Octagon.
But now, Cejudo has the opportunity to do something no one before him has.
The 29-year-old from Los Angeles will attempt to take the UFC flyweight title from Demetrious Johnson this April at UFC 197. As a former U.S. Olympic gold medalist, Cejudo (10-0) would become the first athlete to win Olympic and UFC gold.
“Until somebody breaks my record of becoming a gold medalist and winning a UFC belt, I would consider – I would hope the people would see me as probably the greatest combat athlete to compete in the sport because of the accolades I have,” said Cejudo, during a recent interview with MMAjunkie.
Currently, Holly Holm is the UFC female bantamweight champion and a former boxing world champion, while Ronda Rousey held that same title and won bronze in judo at the Summer Olympics.
“Holly is there,” Cejudo said, “but I feel the purity of the Olympics and the UFC belt, it would just – it’s hard to top.”
Topping Johnson (23-2-1) will be just as difficult, as “Mighty Mouse” is the only person to old the title. He has successfully defended it seven times.
Cejudo, meanwhile, has made history throughout his athletic career. He was a four-time state wrestling champion, claiming two titles in Arizona and two more in Colorado, before becoming the ASICS National High School Wrestler of the Year in 2006. His Olympic performance earned him the honor of becoming the youngest American to win gold at 21 years of age.