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Olympic champion Henry Cejudo signs with Gladiator Challenge, debut to come on March 24

Andrew H. Walker

Olympic wrestling gold medalist Henry Cejudo has signed a multi-fight deal with Gladiator Challenge, and will make his debut with the promotion on a scheduled March 24 event in San Jacinto, California. He is opponent is still to be determined.

The promotion confirmed the plans on Thursday morning.

Cejudo, who captured the gold in the freestyle 55 kg category of the 2008 Games, recently announced his intention to compete in MMA. He is 26 years old.

"It was very important to me to join an organization that has an established track record of helping young fighters grow into world class athletes and champions," Cejudo said in a statement. "Gladiator Challenge has been a home to such fighters as Quinton Jackson, Rashad Evans, Urijah Faber, Tyson Griffin, Chael Sonnen, Michael McDonald, and many others. I want to fight for a credible organization and face high caliber opponents. Gladiator Challenge is that organization, and has made that commitment to me."

The event will take place at the Soboba Casino Outdoor Arena.

Gladiator Challenge was first founded in 1999 and has held well over 100 events.

Earlier this month, Arizona-based promotion World Fighting Federation announced Cejudo would make his MMA debut at their March 2 event. It was not clear if he would compete in both events, and a Gladiator Challenge representative was not immediately available for comment.

[UPDATE: Cejudo's rep William McFarlane told MMA Fighting that Cejudo will indeed fight on both March 2 and March 24.

"Henry does not want to back out of the fight even though that ability does exist," he said. "He wants the fight to assess his progress and is willing to fight again in three weeks."]

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