Olympic Taekwondo Medalist Robelis Despaigne Eyes UFC Title Shot

UFC
May 10, 2024
Heavyweight knockout artist Robelis Despaigne is eyeing a title shot within a year of his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut.

Despaigne (5-0) needed just 18 seconds to knock out Josh Parisian in his promotional debut at UFC 299 in March. The undefeated prospect is now set to make his sophomore walk to the Octagon against Waldo Cortes-Acosta (11-1) at UFC on ESPN 56 on May 11. Despaigne believes a win over Costa, followed by a few others will secure a title shot for him next year.

“Look, if all goes according to plan, I think that by the beginning of next year I’ll be fighting for the UFC heavyweight title, or at least the interim.” Despaigne told MMA Junkie’s Danny Segura.

Despaigne has finished all of his fights in the first round, with a total fight time of 37 seconds for his last four outings combined. Given that the landscape has witnessed Alex Pereira’s meteoric rise to double champ status in less than two years of his UFC debut, Despaigne fighting for the title next year might not be entirely out of the question.

Meanwhile, Cortes-Acosta will enter the Octagon on the heels of back-to-back wins that saw him bounce back from his lone career loss against Marcos Rogerio de Lima via unanimous decision.

The UFC heavyweight title picture is currently in question with Jon Jones sidelined with an injury and no timeline in sight for a return fight against Stipe Miocic. Meanwhile, unsure if the winner of that bout will take him on, interim king Tom Aspinall has called out light heavyweight champ Pereira. Despaigne believes Jones will beat Miocic but could get dethroned by Aspinall.

“That is a close fight, but if it’s a matter of momentum, I think that Aspinall can pull it off and win the crown,” Despaigne said. “But we know the quality that Jon Jones has, so he can always surprise.”

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Olympic-Taekwondo-Medalist-Robelis-Despaigne-Eyes-UFC-Title-Shot-193629

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