For 2008, Olympic gold medal wrestler Henry Cejudo, transitioning to MMA has gone just about as well as he could have hoped for.
Since debuting in March, Cejudo has won all five of his fights, with four first-round finishes.
Cejudo credits his success to the fact that due to fighting so much, he’s remained in camp pretty much all year and it’s allowed him to develop his MMA skills in quick order.
“We were thinking (I would have) anywhere from six to eight fights,” said Cejudo. “That was the goal, and pretty much has gone the way we’ve thought.
“I’m willing to adjust from Olympic style training and bring that to MMA. I work out six to seven hours a day, working a lot of technique and conditioning, and developing my MMA skills like boxing and takedowns and then mixing it all together.”
When comparing himself to the fighter he is now from his first match eight months ago, Cejudo said, “It’s like night and day.
“I’m throwing knees, I’m throwing kicks. I consider myself pretty above average, especially for a wrestler. It’s coming along.”
While Cejudo has had a lot of quick wins, in his last fight he did face a bit of adversity when an injury he suffered early on against Ryan Hollis at Legacy FC 24 last month forced him to go all three rounds for the first time in his young career.
“He threw a side kick and it landed right on my hip flexor in the first round and it didn’t feel good at all,” said Cejudo. “I still couldn’t walk for two weeks after that kick, because he hit me right in the joint between my leg in my hip.
“But it was good to go three rounds and fight 15 minutes, even on one leg.”
Next up for Cejudo is a return to Legacy on Nov. 15 in Houston, where he is scheduled to face Humberto Deleon in a feature bantamweight showdown.
“First and foremost I want my defense to be good; always with my hands up, motion in my feet, setting up my punches, setting up my takedowns, staying away from guard and capitalizing in different ways,” Cejudo told MMAWeekly.com.
“Pretty much just keeping my head in the fight and making adjustments to anything he does. I’m not a hard-headed fighter. I know when to let things slow; I know when to take things up (a notch).”
After what could be a very good end to his first year of fighting with a win on Nov. 15, Cejudo is hoping to keep things going in 2014 and continue to push himself as he grows in MMA.
“Next year, I’m looking forward to stepping up in competition,” he said. “Whoever they put in front of me is who I have to beat, so I’m looking forward to fighting the best competition out there and I want to challenge myself.”