News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. May 13, 2024: In an unexpected turn of events at the UFC Fight Night held at the Enterprise Center on May 11, 2024, the Caribbean witnessed a showdown between two of its own in St. Louis, Missouri.

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Waldo Cortes-Acosta of the Dominican Republic reacts after his victory over Robelis Despaigne of Cuba in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Enterprise Center on May 11, 2024 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Waldo Cortes-Acosta, representing the Dominican Republic, emerged victorious against Cuba’s Robelis Despaigne in a heavyweight bout. Cortes-Acosta, with a record of 12-1 MMA and 5-1 UFC, secured a surprising win over the highly-regarded Despaigne, whose record stands at 5-1 MMA and 1-1 UFC. The showdown unfolded as the main card opener of this past Saturday’s event.

Employing a grapple-heavy strategy, Cortes-Acosta, riding a three-fight winning streak, effectively neutralized the threat posed by Despaigne. Despite Despaigne’s reputation for swift knockouts in his previous bouts, Cortes-Acosta’s strategic takedowns and control tactics proved to be the decisive factor. Throughout the match, Cortes-Acosta maintained a dominant position, thwarting Despaigne’s attempts to counter. Despite his efforts, Cortes-Acosta fell short of securing a finish, but his performance earned him a clear victory.

Judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-27, and 30-26, unanimously declaring Cortes-Acosta the winner. Despaigne, known for his rapid knockout finishes in previous fights, faced an unfamiliar challenge in Cortes-Acosta’s grappling expertise.

Prior to this match, Despaigne had concluded his last four fights in a total of 37 seconds, showcasing his formidable knockout prowess.

This unexpected outcome underscores the unpredictable nature of UFC matchups and solidifies Cortes-Acosta’s status as a rising contender in the heavyweight division.

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