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Olympic medalist Madsen dominates in UFC debut

Mark O. Madsen, 2016 Olympic silver medalist for Denmark in Greco-Roman wrestling, made short work of his opponent in the Olympian's UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 160 at Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark Saturday night.

"It took Mark O. Madsen just 18 months of training mixed martial arts full time to earn a UFC contract -- and it took him just 72 seconds to earn his first win in the promotion," according to ESPN.com. "Madsen easily took down Danilo Belluardo in the opening minute of their lightweight (155-pound) bout in the co-main event of Saturday's Fight Night in Copenhagen, Denmark. Madsen finished Belluardo with elbows moments later."

"Mark Madsen made a statement in his octagon debut on Saturday when he utterly steamrolled Danilo Belluardo for a first-round TKO at UFC on ESPN+ 18," reported MMAJunkie.com.

"The three-time Olympian in wrestling, who hails from Denmark, went straight to his bread and butter from the opening bell," MMAJunkie.com continued. "Madsen put Belluardo on his back early, and from there, the result was inevitable. He quickly opened up with a ruthless assault of ground-and-pound, and Belluardo did little to resist."

Mark O. Madsen (Photo/Getty Images)
The referee stopped the bout at 1:12 of the first round.

With the win, Madsen -- who turned 35 just last week -- is now 9-0 in his professional mixed martial arts career launched almost exactly six years ago, and 1-0 in UFC competition. Belluardo, 25, falls to 12-5 in his five-year pro career, and is 0-2 in UFC action.

Before officially retiring from amateur wrestling in March 2018 to concentrate on his MMA career, Madsen had made a name for himself in Greco-Roman competition on the world stage. He represented his native Denmark at three Olympics -- 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, and 2016 Rio de Janeiro -- winning a silver medal at the Rio Games at 75 kilograms/165 pounds. He also earned four silver medals in Greco at World championships.

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