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Derrick Lewis magic and Dana White criticism

May 11, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Waldo Cortes Acosta (red gloves) fights Robelis Despaigne (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports

Robelis Despaigne told MMA Junkie prior to stepping into the octagon with Waldo Cortes-Acosta that he was going to be fighting for the UFC heavyweight championship by 2025. Those ambitions took a massive blow with his first career loss.

Coming in, Despaigne (5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) looked like he was capable of wreaking havoc over the division. He blew threw his first five career opponents in the first round, with four of those wins coming in less than 20 seconds. That type of fighter is scary, but also a target for many questions.

Despaigne gave us answers to a lot of unknowns, but not in a good way. His takedown defense and conditioning were not up to par for someone looking to put their name in title contention, nor was his resistance to adversity.

All due respect to Cortes-Acosta, who rightfully did what he needed to do to get this win, but a superior fighter to him would’ve had the referee pulling them off Despaigne on this night.

UFC CEO Dana White seemingly felt the same. He completely crapped on Cortes-Acosta’s win at the post-fight news conference, claiming it would’ve gotten a bonus for “sh*ttiest fight of the night” if he was able to give one.

White was correct in his description that Cortes-Acosta vs. Despaigne was the worst fight on the card. He went down this road at first to show that the rest of the action on the night was entertaining, but it’s also hard to know what more Cortes-Acosta could’ve done. Standing with Despaigne for any length of time would’ve been foolish, and the takedowns came easy.

The criticism should ultimately fall bigger on Despaigne, as he had no defense for Cortes-Acosta’s basic game plan. It’s a tough lesson for Despaigne, but one that’s best to learn now if he’s going to achieve any of the potential that’s clearly there with him.

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