2008 gold medalist Henry Cejudo was in the valley Wednesday to sign a multi-fight deal with Gladiator Challenge.
As a new mixed-martial arts fighter, Cejudo joins the MMA world in being up in arms over the International Olympic Committee's decision -- wrestling getting the boot from the Olympics.
While promoting his upcoming match in March, he said, "I just made the transition with the wrestling and boxing and you know, added a few components."
While he has no problem mastering the switch from the Olympic wrestling mat to the MMA cage, the idea of losing wrestling after the 2016 Brazil games doesn't come easy.
"To get rid of a sport like that..it's devastating," said Cejudo. "I've wrestled my whole life and I have to wrestle for the sport that's given me an opportunity and that's the great sport of wrestling...wrestling has given me an opportunity to compete, to accomplish my dream..to help others and they're going to get rid of that."
Having wrestled all his life, Cejudo says he's not about to back down from this battle to try and bring wrestling back to the Olympics.
"For them to try and get rid of wrestling..it's not over..what injustice man...wrestling is one of the family sports, if not the oldest sport in the Olympics and I just feel like it's something I'm fighting for. I see an opportunity. I see a way for the wrestling community to unite and to come together to promote the great sport."
Cejudo says whether wrestling is part of the Olympics or not, he would love to see the games come to Phoenix.
"..it's a little hot out here, but it was hot in Beijing."
He says if the Olympic games ever do come to Phoenix, he definitely wants to carry the torch.
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
Didn't find what you were looking for?