Who Was the First Olympic Gold Medalist to Enter the UFC?

In this page, we will go over who the first Olympic Gold medalist to enter the UFC was, and how his career went.

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Who Was the First Olympic Gold Medalist to Enter the UFC?

The first Olympic Gold Medalist to enter the UFC was not Henry Cejudo, but rather Mark Schultz.

First Olympic Gold Medalist in the UFC

Mark Schultz is one of the most accomplished American wrestlers of all time, holding:

  • An Olympic gold medal in Freestyle Wrestling
  • 3 time NCAA champion
  • 2 time World champion
  • 1 time Pan American champion

Schultz's MMA Career

Mark Schultz would have one of the most bizarre MMA careers in history, as he would only enter the UFC eight years after having retired from wrestling.

If that layoff from any type of competition wasn't crazy enough, he would come in as a replacement on 1 day's notice to face Gary Goodridge.

During this time, Schultz would still be the head wrestling coach of Brigham Young University.

Schultz would then go on to win the fight via Doctor's stoppage due to a cut.

In fact, you can watch Schultz's win against Goodridge below.


This would be end up being Schultz's one and only MMA fight in his career, as he would retire shortly after his win.

Other Wrestling Olympic Gold Medalists in the UFC

Kevin Jackson

Jackson would earn an Olympic gold medal in 1992, but wouldn't enter the UFC until five years later in 1997.

Jackson would win his first two UFC fights, before being submitted twice in his next two fights.

Jackson would retire from MMA competition with a 4-2 record.

Henry Cejudo

Cejudo is the latest wrestler who has won an Olympic gold medal to transition to the UFC, and is by far the most accomplished.

Cejudo would then go on to win the UFC Flyweight championship, and the UFC Bantamweight championship simultaneously, joining elite company as 'Double Champion' status.

On the way to becoming a double champion (but in Cejudo's mind Triple C), he would defeat UFC legends such Demetrious Johnson, Dominick Cruz and TJ Dillashaw.

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