Now Cejudo (4-0), one of the world’s most highly touted bantamweight prospects, will see how his game pans out at the next level. The 26-year-old Californian has signed a multi-fight deal with the Texas-based Legacy Fighting Championship.
Legacy officials recently announced the deal. Cejudo will make his debut at Legacy FC 24 on Oct. 11 at Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas, against Ryan Hollis (4-1). Cejudo-Hollis will be part of the main card that airs on AXS TV (10 p.m. ET).
“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,” Cejudo stated. “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.”
Cejudo won gold for Team USA at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. At just 21, he became the youngest wrestler in American history to take top honors at the Games. In high school, Cejudo was a four-time state champion, winning a pair of titles in Colorado, then two in Arizona. In 2006, he was named high school “Wrestler of the Year.
In 2006, as a high schooler, he won the U.S. Nationals, and then accepted the USA Wrestling offer to skip college to train in Colorado Springs. It paid off quickly with another U.S. Nationals title, a Pan American Games gold, and then in 2008, the Olympic gold.
In 2012, though, Cejudo failed to make the Olympic team. In a dramatic moment, he removed his wrestling shoes, the traditional signal of a wrestler’s retirement, and tossed them to the crowd rather than leaving them in the center of the mat.
Earlier this year, Cejudo announced his intentions to move into MMA. And he moved quickly. His four wins – two for Gladiator Challenge and two for World Fighting Federation – all have come thanks to punches in the first round with three TKOs and a tapout from strikes in his debut. But all four of his opponents had losing records at the time of the fight and currently are a combined 7-23.
At the Legacy FC level, he’s certain to get a step up in competition that goes with the step up in notoriety fighting on a nationally televised show. Hollis lost his pro debut this past September at Legacy FC 14, but has rebounded with four straight stoppage wins with two submissions and two knockouts.
“I am very excited about Henry Cejudo being a part of Legacy Fighting Championship,” Legacy FC President Mick Maynard stated. “Since finding out that Henry was moving into MMA, I have pursued the possibility of him competing for us. Henry is an exceptional athlete and individual that is exactly the kind of person we look for to represent Legacy.”