UFC Fight Night Spotlight: Henry Cejudo
UFC Fight Night: Cejudo versus Dillashaw takes place on January 19, 2019 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. This event will be the first event of the UFC’s new five year contract with ESPN and the first to be broadcast on their digital streaming channel ESPN+.
Main Event: Cejudo versus Dillashaw
The headlining event will feature a UFC Flyweight Championship bout between the 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist in Freestyle wrestling and current Flyweight Champion, Henry Cejudo and current two-time UFC Bantamweight Champion, T.J, Dillashaw.
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Cejudo became champion after he defeated Demetrious Johnson in a rematch (two years after their first match) in the co-main event at UFC 227 on August 4, 2018. Dillashaw first won the UFC Bantamweight Championship by defeating Renan Barao by TKO (head kick and punches) at UFC 173 on May 24, 2014. He then lost the belt to Dominic Cruz at UFC Fight Night on January 17, 2016, but was able to regain it again by defeating Cody Garbrandt by KO (punches) at UFC 217 on November 4, 2017 (Cody had won the belt by defeating Cruz at UFC 207 on December 30, 2016 by unanimous decision).
If Dillashaw wins the Flyweight Championship, he will be the fourth UFC fighter to be champion in two divisions simultaneously (after Conor McGregor at UFC 205, Daniel Cormier at UFC 226, and Amanda Nunes at UFC 232), as well as the seventh person overall to win a title in different divisions. According to rumors, the UFC also has plans to eliminate the flyweight division sometime during 2019.
Co-Main Event: Greg Hardy versus Allen Crowder
In the co-main event, Greg Hardy (3-0) , former NFL player for the Dallas Cowboys (Pro Bowler in 2013) will be facing Allen Crowder (9-3) in a Heavyweight match up. Hardy has only been training MMA since 2016, and has a 3-0 professional record, with 3 knock outs ( 3-0 amateur record, with all 3 wins by knock out as well). He is perhaps best known for his 6 year football career in the NFL, which he played defensive end, and was a Pro Bowler in 2013 and a second team All-Pro following his 2013 NFL season, which he recorded a career high 15 sacks. However, the latter part of his career was filled with controversy, as he was suspended for 10 games in 2015 without pay for violating the NFL personal conduct policy (which was reduced to 4 games) when he was found guilty of assaulting an ex-girlfriend and sentenced to 18 months of probation. The charges were later dropped after the victim failed to appear in court to testify. After the 2015 season, he was not re-signed by the Dallas Cowboys after drawing the ire of management and coach Jason Garrett for “inappropriate” tweets, frequent tardiness, and being a “negative influence” to other younger players.
Henry Cejudo Biography:
Henry was born on February 9, 1987 in Los Angeles, California to undocumented immigrant parents. His father left their family at an early age, and his mom was left to raise seven children. Growing up, his family was so poor, he shared running shoes with his brothers, and did not sleep in his own bed until he was 16 years old.
As a child, Henry followed in his brothers’ footsteps and took up wrestling. His older brother, Angel, won four state championships at Maryvale High School, in Phoenix, Arizona with a 150-0 record. When Henry wrestled in High School, he won a pair of high school championships in Arizona and was named ASICS National High School Wrestler of the year in 2006 and was selected to Wrestling USA Magazine’s Dream Team of High School All-Americans. His biggest achievement in High School was when he became the first high school wrestling to win the U.S. Nationals in freestyle since USA Wrestling became the sport’s national governing body in 1983. Following these achievements, Henry decided to forgo wrestling in college, and moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to become a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
Cejudo went on to win a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games, and captured a bronze medal in the 2007 Wrestling Wrold Cup. However, he shocked the wrestling world when he won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games at the age of 21 years old- becoming the youngest Olympic wrestling champion in United States history (until Kyle Drake broke the record by winning Gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the age of 20). In 2012, Cejudo retired from freestyle wrestling, and followed this retirement by announcing on January 30, 2013 on his twitter page that he planned to begin training for a career in Mixed Martial Arts.
Mixed Martial Arts Career:
Henry made his MMA debut on March 2, 2013 for the Arizona-based World Fighting Federation. Even though he wrestled at 121 pounds for the majority of his wrestling career, he fought at 135 pounds for this debut. He was able to defeat Michael Poe by TKO due to punches in this debut. Over the next year, he was able to go undefeated, with a record of 6-0 with three wins by TKO, one by submission, and two by decision.
On July 25, 2014, Henry Cejudo signed with the UFC. At the time of the signing, he was listed as the #1 ranked bantamweight prospect (in the MMA Prospects Report 2013). Upon signing, Cejudo became the third Olympic gold medalist wrestler in UFC history- after Mark Schultz and Kevin Jackson. Cejudo was scheduled to fight Scott Jorgensen on August 30, 2014 at UFC 177, but was forced to withdraw due to medical issues with his weight cut- and the fight had to be cancelled. This prompted UFC president Dana White telling Cejudo that he must move up to bantamweight or leave the UFC.
On December 13, 2014, Cejudo finally made his UFC debut and defeated Dustin Kimura by unanimous decision at UFC on Fox 13. He went on to defeat four opponents in the UFC (Dustin Kimura, Chris Cariaso by decision, Chico Camus by decision, and Jussier Formiga by decision), before he fought Demetrious John son on April 23, 2016 for his UFC Flyweight Championship. Cejudo was stopped at 2:49 of the first round by TKO (punches and knees). After this championship fight, he lost a split decision to Joseph Benavidez in his next fight on December 3, 2016. However, Cejudo was able to regroup and reeled off three more wins- defeating Wilson Reis by TKO, Sergio Pettis by decision, and Demetrious Johnson by split decision to win the UFC Flyweight Championship on August 4, 2018 at UFC 227 in Los Angeles, California.
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Cejudo has won the Fight of the Night for his second fight with Demetrious Johnson, and the Performance of the Night versus Wilson Reis. Additionally, he won MMAjunkie and MMA Fighting’s 2018 Upset of the Year with his win over Johnson as well.
Mixed Martial Arts Record:
Res. Opponent Method Date
Win Demetrious Johnson Decision (split) 4-Aug-18
Win Sergio Pettis Decision (unanimous) 2-Dec-17
Win Wilson Reis TKO (punches) 9-Sep-17
Loss Joseph Benavidez Decision (split) 3-Dec-16
Loss Demetrious Johnson TKO (knees and punches) 23-Apr-16
Win Jussier Formiga Decision (split) 21-Nov-15
Win Chico Camus Decision (unanimous) 13-Jun-15
Win Chris Cariaso Decision (unanimous) 14-Mar-15
Win Dustin Kimura Decision (unanimous) 13-Dec-14
Win Elias Garcia Decision (unanimous) 31-Jan-14
Win Ryan Hollis Decision (unanimous) 11-Oct-13
Win Miguelito Marti TKO (punches) 18-May-13
Win Anthony Sessions TKO (punches) 19-Apr-13
Win Sean Henry Barnett TKO (punches) 24-Mar-13
Win Michael Poe TKO (punches) 2-Mar-13
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