Henry Cejudo will be the third Olympic gold medalist to compete for UFC after signing a promotional contract announced Friday.
Cejudo became the youngest U.S. Olympic wrestling champion at 21 at Beijing 2008. The son of illegal immigrants from Mexico, his story gained instant fame, and was told in a book, “American Victory.”
He did not qualify for London at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and gave up wrestling to start a mixed martial arts career.
“In wrestling, you’re talking about a fraternity of champions, and I got a chance to be a part of that Olympic championship club,” he said, according to UFC.com. “And anyone that ever won the Olympics in wrestling, there’s something different about them. And that’s something that I’ve always wanted to carry over to mixed martial arts when it comes to discipline, when it comes to technique, and when it comes to becoming an overall fighter. Everything that I did to win a gold medal, I’m practically transferring it over to mixed martial arts.”
Cejudo’s first UFC bout will be in Sacramento, Calif., on Aug. 30 in the flyweight division, though he’s 6-0 with four knockouts already as a pro.
“I always wanted to become a student of the game and at least get six to eight fights before coming to the UFC,” he told UFC.com. “Now I think I’m in my prime, and I’ve never felt this strong in my life. I won the Olympics at 21. I could only grow half a mustache (laughs), and now I’ve got a full beard.”
Cejudo joins fellow wrestlers Kevin Jackson and Mark Schultz in competing in UFC after winning Olympic golds. Of course, one of the most famous names in MMA is 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist Ronda Rousey.
Skateboarding to be showcased aside Youth Olympics
Figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are Canada’s flag bearers for the PyeongChang Olympic Opening Ceremony on Feb. 9.
It’s the first time Canada will have multiple flag bearers at an Opening Ceremony.
Virtue and Moir won ice dance gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games and silver in Sochi in 2014.
After a two-year break, they went undefeated last season and won their third world championship.
They lost for the first time in their comeback at last month’s Grand Prix Final to French Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.
Canada finished in the top three in the total medal standings at the last three Winter Olympics, including topping the gold-medal standings at the 2010 Vancouver Games with a record 14.
Recent Canadian Winter Olympic flag bearers
2014 Opening: Hayley Wickenheiser, Hockey
2014 Closing: Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse, Bobsled
2010 Opening: Clara Hughes, Speed Skating
2010 Closing: Joannie Rochette, Figure Skating
2006 Opening: Danielle Goyette, Hockey
2006 Closing: Cindy Klassen, Speed Skating
2002 Opening: Catriona Le May Doan, Speed Skating
2002 Closing: Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, Figure Skating
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MORE: Canada’s Olympic figure skating team roster
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will cover Super Bowl LII and the PyeongChang Olympics as a contributor for NBC.
Earnhardt will spend the first weekend in February covering the outdoor activities in Minneapolis for the Super Bowl Pre-Game Show (NBC, Feb. 4).
Then he will travel to South Korea for the Winter Games.
From NBC Sports PR:
“Earnhardt will travel to PyeongChang, where he will explore the culture, people, and traditions in South Korea, and experience Olympic competitions first hand. Earnhardt will visit the speed skating venue at Gangneung Ice Arena, and through the lens of a racer will view the speed, close contact, and tight turns on the short track speed skating oval, which so closely mirror Earnhardt’s racing days and nights at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Following a recent invite on social media from his new friends on the U.S. bobsled team, including U.S. bobsled team pilot Nick Cunningham, Earnhardt will also travel to Alpensia Sliding Center, where he will test the true speed of the bobsled track and live out his post-retirement dream of riding in an Olympic bobsled.”
Earnhardt, 43, retired last year after 19 NASCAR seasons, which included Daytona 500 wins in 2004 and 2014.
He is now a NASCAR on NBC analyst.
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