In the last 24-hours, most news involving Olympic wrestling has been centered around its removal as a sport in the 2020 Games. So it is a nice change of pace to bring something positive as Henry Cejudo has announced that he will be making his mixed martial arts debut on March 2. He will be doing so at a World Fighting Federation event to be held in Arizona.
Cejudo will be facing a local fighter, Michael Poe at bantamweight in what will serve as the evening’s co-main event. The venue is the Casino del Sol Event Center, which is located in Tucson.
In the 2008 Olympics, Cejudo captured the gold medal at 121 pounds in Olympic freestyle wrestling. At those Olympics held in Beijing, China, he was just 21 years old. He defeated Tomohiro Matsunaga in the gold medal match. He originally intended to return in 2012, but he was unable to qualify for the U.S. team.
Michael Poe is most likely the perfect opponent for Cejudo’s first fight as a pro. Logging four straight losses, he has yet to capture his first career victory since turning pro in 2009. In his most recent fight, he lost by TKO in the first round in January. As an amateur, he fared better, posting a 2-0 record before making the leap to the professional ranks.
The son of illegal immigrants from Mexico, Henry Cejudo continues a trend of Olympic wrestlers heading to MMA after their amateur careers have concluded. As one of the most highly decorated ever to compete, it will be interesting to see how he makes the transition. While some have crossed over and fared well, others have not made the adjustments and either flamed out or walked away after finding it not to their liking.