At UFC 299, massive heavyweight Robelis Despaigne will make his much-awaited debut.
The electrifying event is set to unfold in Miami on March 9. The main event will be a bantamweight title clash between the newly-crowned Sean O’Malley and Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera.
Adding to the thrill, former Olympian Despaigne is set to grace the event with his presence. In a captivating matchup, he will face fellow heavyweight Josh Parisian (15-7) in his first UFC appearance.
Having secured a bronze medal in Taekwondo, Despaigne transitioned to MMA in the summer of 2022. He has won in all four of his match, each ending with a first-round knockout. Only one of these encounters extended beyond 12 seconds, solidifying the 35-year-old Cuban as a formidable knockout artist.
Robelis Despaigne, recently signed by the UFC, has surpassed the longstanding record for the longest reach in the organization. Towering at an impressive 6 feet 7 inches, the Cuban boasts an extraordinary reach of 2.2 meters or 87 inches. This accomplishment dethrones the previous record-holder, Jon Jones, who held the active record since 2008 with a reach of 2.15 meters, equivalent to 84 and a half inches.
Despaigne has made history even before stepping into the octagon. What sets Despaigne apart is not just his amazing record but also his remarkable reach. With an 87-inch reach, he boasts the longest reach ever seen in the UFC. To grasp the magnitude of this, that’s the same wingspan as NBA powerhouse Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Despaigne’s ambitions for 2024 are as towering as his stature. The fighter expressed, “My ambitions have been very high through everything I’ve done. That’s not going to change now. I want to fight three or four times next year. That’s for sure. And I want to hopefully fight for the belt in one or two years. … I’m going to fight for the belt – and win it.”
UFC 299 promises a night of monumental proportions, with the powerhouse Despaigne ready to make a huge impact on his debut. As fans anticipate this heavyweight spectacle, the question remains: Will Despaigne’s journey culminate in championship glory? Only time will unveil this gripping tale in the ever-thrilling world of UFC.
The card currently consists of these matchups:
Dustin Poirier vs. Benoît Saint Denis
Gilbert Burns vs. Jack Della Maddalena
Kevin Holland vs. Michael Page
Curtis Blaydes vs. Jailton Almeida
Katlyn Chookagian vs. Maycee Barbe
Mateusz Gamrot vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Petr Yan vs. Song Yadong
Pedro Munhoz vs. Kyler Phillips
Despaigne vs. Josh Parisian
Lauren Murphy vs. Karine Silva
Michel Pereira vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
C.J. Vergara vs. Assu Almabayev