Robelis ‘The Big Boy’ Despaigne: A New UFC Contender!

In the realm of mixed martial arts, few stories are as captivating as that of Robelis Despaigne, a Cuban taekwondo expert turned UFC heavyweight contender.

Born August 9th, 1988, Despaigne has transitioned from a distinguished Olympic career to an impressive start in the world of MMA.

With an 87-inch reach that breaks UFC records as the longest reach in UFC history and a bronze Olympic medal in taekwondo it’s easy to see how formidable he could prove to be in the UFC.

The announcement of the signing of ‘The Big Boy’ Despaigne has sent shockwaves through the MMA World. His power has been commonly compared to Francis Ngannou and with his last 3 MMA bouts ending in under 13 seconds, his glorious KO power is on display for all to see.

Taekwondo Triumphs

Cubas Robelis Despaigne Wins Taekwondo 80kg Bronze London 2012 Olympics 1

Despaigne’s journey into the world of combat sports began at the age of nine when he immersed himself in the discipline of taekwondo.

His dedication and skill quickly propelled him to national recognition, earning him a coveted spot on Cuba’s national taekwondo team by the age of sixteen. A remarkable feat indeed, but Despaigne didn’t stop there.

The pinnacle of his taekwondo career came in 2012 when he proudly represented Cuba in the Olympic Games held in London.

In the +80 kg event, Despaigne clinched a bronze medal, solidifying his status as one of the world’s top taekwondo practitioners.

However, despite this success, a growing discontent with the state of sports in Cuba prompted Despaigne to seek new horizons.

A Shift to MMA

In 2012, amidst a sense of dissatisfaction with his current path, Despaigne made a bold decision.

Encouraged by his coach to explore mixed martial arts, he overcame initial reservations about the sport’s knockout-heavy reputation and ventured into the world of MMA.

This marked a significant shift for Despaigne, who was losing passion for taekwondo in his native Cuba alone.

Armed with a college degree in physical training, Despaigne could have pursued a conventional career, but his love for combat sports led him down a different path.

In 2019, he began MMA-specific training in Cuba, incorporating grappling into his regimen. Faced with pandemic-related delays, Despaigne took a crucial step in 2022 by relocating to Orlando, Florida, to further his MMA journey.

Despaigne made his MMA debut against Katuma Mulumba on June 3, 2022, at Titan FC 77. He won the bout at the end of the first round via TKO stoppage.

His early career has showcased his explosive power, recording three knockout victories in 2023, each under 15 seconds.

UFC Bound

Robelis Despaigne’s meteoric rise in the MMA world caught the attention of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

In December 2023, Despaigne inked a deal with the UFC, marking a pivotal moment in his combat sports journey.

Scheduled to face Josh Parisian on March 9, 2024, at UFC 299, Despaigne enters the UFC heavyweight division with an undefeated record of 4-0, all victories coming by way of knockout.


Robelis Despaigne’s transition from taekwondo Olympian to MMA powerhouse is a testament to his adaptability, skill, and unwavering passion for combat sports.

As he steps into the UFC octagon, fans and critics alike eagerly anticipate the next chapter in the Cuban Cyclone’s remarkable journey.

Keep an eye on Robelis Despaigne, a force to be reckoned with in the ever-evolving landscape of mixed martial arts.

So there you have it, fight enthusiasts—a glimpse into the remarkable journey of Robelis “The Big Boy” Despaigne, a fast-rising star in the world of mixed martial arts

Do you believe “The Big Boy” Despaigne will make it to the top in the UFC? Who should his dream matchups be with in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

ROCK YOUR BIG BOY BOOTS in the KINGDOM of FU, and our Top 3 and Top 5 MMA series including exclusive interviews with top fighters such as Anderson Silva, and Cung Le, action actors such as Scott Adkins and stuntmen such as Andy Cheng!

LEAVE YOUR ‘BIG BOY’ FOOTPRINT by training in KFK gear, and subscribe for more LARGER-THAN-LIFE FU on YouTube!

Andrew Laoudas

Andrew is a passionate martial arts enthusiast with knowledge on a wide range of disciplines including Nunchaku, Kali, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, and Judo. Driven by a deep love for the arts and a genuine appreciation for action movies, Andrew's focus on Wing Chun and Judo has given him significant experience and expertise. With a unique perspective that blends the excitement of action cinema with the technicality and beauty of martial arts, Andrew seamlessly integrates his passion for martial arts combat, cinema, and MMA. This fusion fuels his evolving journey of self-discovery and he hopes it will serve as inspiration for others to unlock their true potential.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Kung-fu Kingdom