Tuesday, August 2nd, Dominican heavyweight prospect Waldo Cortes-Acosta will be in action for Dana White’s Contender Series, where he will be looking continue his winning ways against Danilo Suzart. He will be looking for another win, as Cortes-Acosta looks to impress and earn a contract with the UFC. He represents Ultimate Kombat Fitness, a lesser-known camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Boxing: Possessing a professional boxing background, Cortes-Acosta obviously brings that background into the cage with him. The Dominican banger is 6-4 as a pro boxer, but has become a striking terror in the cage. He possesses great technique and big-time power, as he can put anybody out with one punch. He moves well and cuts angles well. Three of his six pro MMA wins come by way of knockout, including his most recent LFA title victory over top prospect Thomas Petersen. Now the LFA Heavyweight Champion, Cortes-Acosta puts himself in position to quickly punch his way into the UFC.
Athleticism: At 6’4″ and over 250 pounds, Cortes-Acosta is a big boy, but he’s quite the athlete for a man his size. He is explosive and quick, which is a rare combination to see from a heavyweight in MMA. That adds to his natural power and his strong lateral movement, which makes him hard to get a hold of. There aren’t many guys that will step in the cage with Cortes-Acosta that will have the natural gifts that the Dominican striker has.
Defensive Grappling: Despite having a win via kimura as a pro, Cortes-Acosta needs to continue to work on his defensive grappling. Because he has such an extensive striking background, his ground game could still use some work. His amateur loss to Dustin Clements came as a result of a failure in his defensive grappling. When he’s put on his back, he can be controlled. He has gotten better at defending wrestling and such, but it’s still the biggest part of his game that can be exploited.
UFC Midcarder: Cortes-Acosta’s strong striking background and natural gifts are going to give him a major leg up on all regional competition, which is why he’s been fantastic to this point. That’s what will lift him into the UFC at some point, possibly with a win over Suzart. Heavyweight is always in need of talent, and the fact is that much of the lower part of their heavyweight roster are not exactly the cream of the crop. Cortes-Acosta could blow through the bottom part of the heavyweight roster right now. It’s when he gets to the middle part of the division where he will find challenges, especially given how many of these guys have good wrestling backgrounds. He will have a solid career with the UFC, but struggle against elite grapplers.