Robelis Despaigne

Robelis Despaigne Firs Round Management UFC Fighter

Robelis Despaigne

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Robelis Despaigne (born 9 August 1988), is a Cuban taekwondo practitioner and professional mixed martial artist. He currently competes in the heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Robelis Despaigne spent his formative years in Cuba, where he immersed himself in the discipline of taekwondo at the tender age of nine. Seven years into his training, Despaigne achieved a remarkable feat by earning a coveted spot on the national taekwondo team—a position he held with distinction for an impressive 15 years. The pinnacle of his taekwondo career came in 2012 when he proudly represented Cuba in the Olympic Games held in London, clinching a bronze medal in the heavyweight category.

However, even during the peak of his success in taekwondo, Despaigne found himself grappling with a growing discontent. In 2012, amidst rumblings of dissatisfaction with the state of sports in Cuba, he decided to make a significant shift. “I was losing love for the sport in 2012. A lot was going on in Cuba where I wasn’t really happy about the sport,” Despaigne explained. Encouraged by his coach to explore mixed martial arts (MMA), he initially hesitated due to concerns about the knockout-heavy reputation of the sport. Eventually, after watching fights and realizing his potential, Despaigne made the bold decision to venture into the world of MMA.

Equipped with a college degree in physical training, Despaigne could have opted for a conventional career, but his passion for combat sports led him in a different direction. In 2019, he commenced MMA-specific training in Cuba, incorporating grappling into his routine. Faced with pandemic-related delays, Despaigne made the pivotal decision to relocate to Orlando, Florida, in 2022, where he continues to reside and train.