Photo by Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – 2008 Olympic champion Henry Cejudo successfully defended his UFC flyweight belt on Saturday night at the Barclays Center as part of UFC Fight Night 143.
One of the greatest combat athletes of all time, Cejudo shut down the doubters with a TKO in 32 seconds over reigning bantamweight champion and fellow wrestler TJ Dillashaw, who moved down a weight to set up the Super Fight.
“I’ve busted my butt my whole life,” Cejudo said. “I was able to beat one of the greatest of all time. It’s surreal. I knew he was hurt. I caught him with that head kick and felt him wobble. The rest was history.”
With the TKO, Cejudo stopped Dillashaw, the No. 5 pound-for-pound fighter, from becoming only the fourth fighter in UFC history to simultaneously own titles in two different divisions.
The win comes just months after Cejudo, a National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, took out 11-time defending champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson to capture the flyweight title in August.
Another wrestler was victorious inside the Barclays Center on Saturday.
2007 NCAA champion and four-time All-American for Edinboro Gregor “The Gift” Gillespie, a Long Island native, fought in front of a home crowd, taking on Yancy Medeiros (15-6) of Hawaii in the lightweight division.
Gillespie picked up a takedown in the opening seconds of the fight and remained on top for the rest of the first frame. In similar fashion, Gillespie was in control again early in the second period and eventually flattened Medeiros on the mat. With several powerful strikes from Gillespie on top, the referee stopped the bout with one second left in the period, resulting in a TKO for Gillespie.
“I got the finish. Any time you get the finish, you did something right,” Gillespie said. “I wasn’t losing the fight up to that point. The only problem is my last fights were more exciting. That was a bit more boring, but Yancy’s a better fighter than anyone I’ve ever faced. I could hold that back position for two title fights in a row, if I had to. I don’t get tired doing it and guys soften up. That’s an investment to get a finish later. A finish is a finish and a win is a win. The result is the only thing that matters.”
The former Fighting Scot improves to 13-0 in his MMA career with a 6-0 mark in UFC action.