Date: June 1, 2016, 12:53 am

Henry Cejudo: I'm ready, I just hope Demetrious Johnson is ready

Henry Cejudo is no stranger to pressure-filled situations.

As a 2012 Olympic gold medalist in wrestling, Cejudo has competed at the highest level of athletics, where one mistake separates going home as the best in the world or crawling back defeated.

To ratchet up the intensity for his run at the Olympics, Cejudo was a huge underdog taking a run at the games after forgoing his college career and just transitioning to international competition directly after high school.

It all paid off in the end and that's why Cejudo didn't hesitate for even a second when the UFC asked him to face flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson this weekend after only four fights inside the Octagon.

By all standards, Cejudo is still very young in his career as a fighter, but pundits said the same thing when he went to the Olympics as a 19-year-old prodigy.

He won gold in Beijing and he plans to do the same when he faces the seven-time defending flyweight champion on Saturday night.

"I believe I'm fresh. I believe I have the pedigree and I've been in these other situations before and that's all there is to it. I'm ready," Cejudo told FOX Sports.

"I just hope he's ready and I hope I get the best Demetrious Johnson the world could ask for because I want to fight the best at their best. I think I'm going to be fighting him at his best."

There's little doubt that tackling one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport is a tall order for anybody in the division, but Cejudo is confident that he has what it will take to dethrone Johnson at UFC 197.

Considering the way Johnson has run roughshod over everyone at 125 pounds thus far, it's understandable why Cejudo is a massive underdog going into the fight.

The funny thing is Cejudo has been here before and he knows exactly what separates him from the other fighters who have tried to beat Johnson. Cejudo says none of them had what he has going into this fight for the flyweight title.

"It's my heart and my ability that separates me from everybody," Cejudo explained. "My heart is my passion, my world, my desire to win. Then my ability that's God given and that I've worked for my whole life, and I think when I combine those two together, it's a recipe that's built for success.

"That's what made me the best in the world at wrestling and I know it's the same thing for mixed martial arts. I'm a fearless fighter inside the cage and I'm going to fight you accordingly."

Of course, Cejudo has plenty of detractors who believe this fight is coming far too early in his career. Others would say Cejudo still hasn't faced an elite flyweight like Joseph Benavidez or John Dodson before tackling a task as difficult as Johnson.

Cejudo scoffs at those claims and actually gets angry at the presumption that he's somehow not ready for this moment.

"More than anything this is a challenge for me," Cejudo said. "I guess I could say I don't care what people say, but it kind of pisses me off. So it's kind of a challenge for me, so that's what drives me, is the challenge aspect of it.

"I think my whole life has been a roller coaster and I'm mature and I've learned to embrace pressure. That's what makes me a fearless competitor. I think Demetrious Johnson will see that April 23."

If everything goes Cejudo's way on Saturday night and he gets his hand raised after fighting Johnson, he'll be crowned only the second flyweight champion in UFC history. Cejudo is already part of a very exclusive club of former gold medalists who have competed in the Octagon (Kevin Jackson and Mark Schultz are the other two), and he wants to become the first one to win a world title.

If that happens, Cejudo will then have to gauge the moment versus the day he had that gold medal placed over his head at the 2012 Olympics. Which one is better?

"I guess you can ask me after April 23," Cejudo said with a laugh.

Johnson vs. Cejudo takes place Saturday night at UFC 197 with the live prelims kicking off on FS1 at 8 p.m. ET.

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