In an unusual move, the UFC, led by Dana White, has signed Cuban Olympic medalist Robelis Despaigne following his stunning four-second knockout against Miles Banks at Fury FC 84. The 35-year-old Despaigne, standing at 2.04 meters, has an impressive sporting record including a bronze Olympic medal in taekwondo in the over 80 kg category at London 2012, and two world championship medals in 2013 and 2015 in the 87 kg category. Making his debut in mixed martial arts in 2022, Despaigne has won all his four fights by knockout in the first round. He now joins a select group of Olympic athletes who have been part of the UFC, such as Henry Cejudo and Ronda Rousey.
Despaigne’s Knockout Ability: A Game-Changer
Despaigne's knockout skills have left a significant impression on the UFC. His astonishing three-second finish, along with a 12-second stoppage, has resulted in three of his wins lasting merely 19 seconds. A taekwondo specialist, Despaigne's 87-inch reach is the longest in UFC history. To meet the 265lb heavyweight limit, Despaigne will need to cut down, and he is expected to be fast-tracked through the division.
Despaigne’s Journey to UFC
Despaigne made his first appearance on the UFC stage after another impressive performance at Fury FC 84, aired on UFC Fight Pass. With his age combined with the hype surrounding him, it is expected that Despaigne will be fast-tracked in the heavyweight division. He is indeed a prospect to keep an eye on. His quick victories have caused a stir among UFC fans, and it's unclear when Despaigne will make his promotional debut.
Furthering the Legacy of Cuban Fighters in UFC
Despaigne's signing with UFC continues the tradition of Cuban fighters in the organization, following the footsteps of Yoel Romero and Jorge Masvidal. His Olympic background and quick victories have created a buzz among UFC fans. His reach and speedy knockouts have drawn significant attention, and it is anticipated that he will be fast-tracked in the heavyweight division due to his age and the surrounding hype.