UFC signs 6’7 Olympic taekwondo medalist Robelis Despaigne after finishing 3 fights in 19 seconds

By Fernando Quiles - December 4, 2023

The UFC has wasted little time signing Olympic taekwondo medalist Robelis Despaigne.

Robelis Despaigne

Despaigne is off to a red hot start in his pro MMA career. He has gone 4-0 and has yet to reach the second round. His longest bout lasted four minutes and 54 seconds, which was his pro MMA debut. Since that fight, Despaigne’s average time inside the cage has been just under seven seconds.

The taekwondo specialist earned a UFC contract after scoring a KO win over Miles Banks, which ended in a matter of seconds at Fury FC 84. Later on in the show, the ring announcer revealed that Despaigne has officially put pen to paper, signing a UFC deal.

Robelis Despaigne Joins UFC Roster

Robelis Despaigne is a 2012 Summer Olympics bronze medalist in taekwondo. A decade later, Despaigne made his pro MMA debut, defeating Katuma Mulumba via first-round TKO. He went on to finish Travis Gregoire in just 12 seconds one year later. Despaigne had two more fights in 2023, both ending quickly.

Despaigne has developed a reputation for being a fast finisher and if the 6’7 heavyweight can continue racking up finishes like that in the UFC, his stock will certainly rise. Of course, entering the UFC is a different animal than the regional circuit. Whether or not Despaigne can produce similar results under the brightest of lights in the MMA world remains to be seen, but UFC officials clearly believe they have have someone special on the roster given how quickly the bronze medalist was signed and the fact that it was announced mid-show.

At the age of 35, it’s safe to say Despaigne will hope to fast-track himself to a UFC championship much like reigning 205-pound titleholder Alex Pereira was able to do. It’ll be interesting to see who Robelis Despaigne is matched up against for his highly-anticipated UFC debut.

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