Waldo Cortes-Acosta Beats Robelis Despaigne By Unanimous Decision At UFC On ESPN 56

Waldo Cortes-Acosta was able to cruise to a unanimous decision victory over the previously unbeaten Robelis Despaigne tonight at UFC On ESPN 56 by taking advantage of the former Olympic taekwondo bronze medalist’s weak ground game.

Round One:

Despaigne stalking forward immediately and throws punches as Cortes-Acosta backs up against the cage. Cortes-Acosta gets away. Despaigne prowling towards him again and looks for strikes, but Cortes-Acosta wisely takes him down.

Cortes-Acosta in half-guard and looks comfortable here as Despaigne isn’t doing a whole lot off his back. Cortes-Acosta very patient as he holds off on looking for ground-and-pound for now.

However Cortes-Acosta then goes for a potential Americana, but it’s not too threatening and even with his apprently limited ground skills Despaigne is eventually able to get free of that.

Cortes-Acosta back to his patient approach on top. He lands a few punches to the body. Not a whole lot happening though. In the final few seconds of the round Cortes-Acosta opens up with a few punches.

Round Two:

Front kick upstairs attempted by Despaigne. Now a punch lands. Leg kicks for Cortes-Acosta. Wild swings and misses from Cortes-Acosta to try to back off Despaigne.

Leg kick for Cortes-Acosta again. Head kick attempt from Despaigne. Cortes-Acosta tries to clinch up and go for a takedown, but Despaigne is able to stay up this time.

Cortes-Acosta with a brief flurry of punches. Despaigne loading up on punches, but Cortes-Acosta and is looking to counter as the taekwondo stylist’s defense is severely lacking when he’s on the attack.

Cortes-Acosta clinches up and brings Despaigne to the mat. He’s able to move into full mount and starts to rain down some solid ground-and-pound. Despaigne looking out of his depth from his back here in this bad spot.

Cortes-Acosta lets him off the hook for now by going back to taking his time. However with less than a minute to go he unleashes a series of hammerfist strikes. Another rest and then another flurry. He throws a few more strikes before the final bell but there wasn’t much on those. Despaigne looks very tired as he slowly gets back to his feet.

Round Three:

Calf kick for Cortes-Acosta. Thigh kick from Despaigne. Now a thumping jab. Now a right hand. Back to the jab. Another leg kick for Despaigne. He tries a switch kick to the body. Now a couple more leg kicks. Another lands.

Inside leg kick from Cortes-Acosta. Hook lands for Despaigne in a sloppy exchange. Solid inside leg kick from Cortes-Acosta. Front kick upstairs lands for Despaigne, but Cortes-Acosta absorbs it and keeps going.

Kick for Despaigne. Cortes-Acosta manages to close the distance and clinches up against the cage. He’s able to get the big man down and now has half-a-round left in a position where he’s likely to have complete control.

A few elbow strikes land for Cortes-Acosta in half-guard close to the cage. Cortes-Acosta gathers up some energy reserves and then starts to throw some sustained ground-and-pound. Despaigne briefly gets to his knees, but can’t figure out a way back to his feet and goes to his back again. Cortes-Acosta with some light ground-and-pound to end the round.


Cortes-Acosta was able to expose Despaigne’s complete lack of a ground game here to hand him the first loss of his MMA career via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26).

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.