From Ronda Rousey to Henry Cejudo, 7 UFC Fighters Who Have Won Olympic Medals

Published 07/19/2021, 10:44 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – MAY 09: Henry Cejudo is interviewed by Megan Olivi after his victory during the UFC 249 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 09, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)


UFC is one of the fastest-growing combat sport platforms in the world. This is quite evident with the popularity of some of its stars. The year 2020 was especially beneficial for the company, as despite the global pandemic, it not only thrived but even succeeded. The UFC has a plethora of outstanding fighters at its disposal, including some who have competed at the Olympics.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Therefore, with the Tokyo Olympics just days away from starting. Today we decided to take a look at 5 UFC fighters who have won Olympics medals.

Mark Schultz

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Mark Schultz is a wrestling legend, the fighter is a 3 time NCAA, Olympics, and a 2-time World Champion. The fighter is also a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Schultz, along with his brother Dave Schultz, won golds at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

12 years after that, the fighter joined the UFC and competed in a singular fight against Gary Goodridge at UFC 9. Schultz won that fight via a first-round TKO. The wrestling and combat sports legend was the first Olympic winner to compete in the UFC.

Watch This Story: Olympic Legends Serena Williams, LeBron James, Lin Dan and Others Missing Out on Tokyo Olympics 2020

Schultz’s achievements are so legendary that a film titled ‘Foxcatcher’ was made about his life.

Ronda Rousey

One of the most popular combat sports athletes in the world, Ronda Rousey, is a bona fide legend. The fighter has done it all from winning the UFC title to capturing an Olympic medal. Rousey started her UFC journey back in 2013 and captured the UFC Women’s Bantamweight title.

‘Rowdy’ would go on to defend the title for a record 6 times. Rousey was a champion in various other platforms like Strike force and the WWE. Although much before Rousey was taking over the UFC, the fighter competed in the Beijing Olympics 2008 and won a Bronze medal.

Rousey has done everything from winning championships to working on movies and is certainly amongst the greatest athletes to ever be a part of combat sports.

Henry Cejudo

‘The Messenger’ is only the person who has won the Olympic gold medal and the UFC world title. A UFC legend Cejudo is a former UFC Flyweight and Bantamweight title. He is just the fourth fighter to do so and the second to defend titles in both divisions.

Cejudo won his gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and his first UFC title at UFC 227 against Demetrious Johnson. When Cejudo won his Olympic gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, he was just 21 years old, making him the then youngest American Gold medalist.

Many often consider Cejudo to be one of the greatest ever combat sports athletes. The fighter is currently retired although many believe that at 34 years of age, we haven’t yet seen the end of ‘The Messenger.’

Kevin Jackson

Kevin Jackson is one of the most sought-after wrestling coaches in the US. While many today know the fighter for the same, he is an Olympic medalist and a former UFC fighter. Jackson became an Olympic gold medalist at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

The fighter has many achievements in his name as he has won the World Championship 2 times. And has won gold at the Pan American Games on 2 occasions as well. The fighter first stepped inside the UFC Octagon back in 1997, he competed at the UFC 14 event against Todd Butler and Tony Fryklund and won both fights via submission.

Jackson is currently the Coach of the US National Team.

Matt Lindland

Lindland competed in the UFC back in December 2000. The fighter first faced Yoji Anjo at the UFC 29 event and won via a first-round TKO. ‘The Law’ competed in the UFC sporadically till 2005. Lindland ended his MMA career with an impressive record of (22-9).

The fighter won his Olympic medal back in 2000; he won the Silver medal at the 76 kg category at the Sydney Olympics. Lindland has not just restricted his career in sports as the fighter is an actor, entrepreneur, and politician.

Sara McMann

Many people often considered Sara McMann to be one of the best fighters to ever compete in the UFC. The bantamweight fighter is currently N0.8 in the UFC bantamweight rankings and started competing in the UFC back in 2013.

At 40 years of age, McMann is still active in the UFC and last competed at the UFC 257 event against Julianna Pena. The fighter lost that fight via a 3rd round submission.

Before McMann started her journey in MMA, she was one of the best wrestlers in the world. The fighter even ended up winning the Silver Medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Yoel Romero

Romero is arguably one of the best wrestlers competing in MMA today. The fighter is one of the most decorated athletes and is often considered one of the most athletic MMA fighters. While Romero might not have won the UFC championship, the fighter has performed admirably in every fight he has competed in.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

‘Soldier of God’ last fought in the UFC back in 2020, he faced Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight title and lost. While his MMA career is not laden with titles, the fighter has a plethora of achievements in wrestling.

The fighter is a five-time medalist at the World Championships, winning the 1999 gold. A three-time World Cup winner (six-time medalist), and a 5 time Pan American Champion. However, one of his biggest achievements came at the 2000 Sydney Olympics where he won the Silver medal.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Trending Stories

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Paras Pande

399 articles

Paras Pande is a UFC author at EssentiallySports who is pursuing his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication. An ardent follower of the UFC, he has been covering the sport for 2 years now. Before joining the team at EssentiallySports, Paras gained expertise as an MMA writer whilst working with Sportskeeda.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT