Robelis Despaigne to debut on stacked UFC 299 lineup in Miami

Highly touted heavyweight prospect and Cuban judo Olympian Robelis Despaigne has his first UFC assignment.

At UFC 299, Despaigne (4-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will make his promotional debut vs. Josh Parisian (15-7 MMA, 2-4 UFC), the UFC announced Tuesday. The event takes place March 9 at Kaseya Center in Miami.

Despaigne, 35, is a decorated taekwondo practitioner. He won a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympic Games in the 80kg weight class. He also is a two-time bronze medalist in the World Championships (2013 and 2015).

Since his pivot to MMA over the COVID-19 pandemic, Despaigne has won all four of his professional bouts by knockout in the first round. His past three appearances have lasted a combined 19 seconds, with the two most recent lasting three and four seconds, respectively.

Following the four-second TKO of Miles Banks at Fury FC 84 in December, UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard phoned promoter Eric Garcia immediately after the bout’s conclusion to offer Despaigne a multifight deal.

“My ambitions have been very high through everything I’ve done,” Despaigne told MMA Junkie in December when detailing his journey through combat sports. “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.”

On the flip side of the equation, Parisian is an alumnus of “The Ultimate Fighter” and Dana White’s Contender Series. Currently on a two-fight skid, Parisian looks to get back in the win column for the first time since June 2022.

With the addition, the UFC 299 lineup includes:

  • Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera

  • Dustin Poirier vs. Benoit Saint-Denis

  • Jailton Almeida vs. Curtis Blaydes

  • Gilbert Burns vs. Jack Della Maddalena

  • Kevin Holland vs. Michael Page

  • Maycee Barber vs. Katlyn Chookagian

  • Rafael dos Anjos vs. Mateusz Gamrot

  • Song Yadong vs. Petr Yan

  • Pedro Munhoz vs. Kyler Phillips

  • Michal Oleksiejczuk vs. Michel Pereira

  • Asu Almabaev vs. CJ Vergara

  • Robelis Despaigne vs. Josh Parisian

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 299.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie