Cuban Fighter Robelis Despaigne Loses to Dominican Waldo Cortés-Acosta in UFC Match

Monday, May 13, 2024 by Zoe Salinas

Cuban MMA fighter Robelis Despaigne, formerly a national team member in taekwondo, faced his first defeat in mixed martial arts (MMA) competition this Saturday. Despaigne was bested by unanimous decision at an event held at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri, against Dominican opponent Waldo Cortés-Acosta.

The fight, dominated early by Cortés-Acosta, saw the Dominican fighter take control from the first round after taking Despaigne down and maintaining ground control. Despite a better performance in the second round, Despaigne was unable to overcome the initial deficit. By the third round, the situation was clear: the Cuban needed a knockout to claim victory, a feat that proved unattainable.

Despaigne, hailing from Santiago de Cuba, first caught the UFC's attention with his technical prowess derived from his taekwondo background in Cuba, where he was a national team member. His athletic career includes a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics and a gold medal at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla.

His debut in the Extreme Fighting Championship on March 9 was marked by a swift victory, as he knocked out American fighter Josh Parisian in just 18 seconds. This victory was a source of pride for Despaigne, reflecting the skill and determination he brings from his extensive combat sports background.

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