Dana White’s Contender Series alum Waldo Cortes Acosta returns to the Octagon this Saturday at UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs The Korean Zombie, eager to get back in the win column after suffering his first professional loss in April.
Entering his most recent bout with a perfect 9-0 record that included UFC wins over Chase Sherman and Jared Vanderaa, Cortes Acosta received the first blemish on his resume against Marcos Rogerio de Lima. While out striking de Lima throughout the final two rounds, the Brazilian racked up five minutes of ground control time to secure a unanimous decision victory.
Cortes Acosta got straight back to the gym the following week, using the loss to fuel his desire to improve and crack the heavyweight division’s Top 15. The weight class has seen a massive increase in talent over the last few years due to the success of rising stars like Jailton Almeida, Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall. Cortes Acosta believes it’s only a matter of time before his name is added to that list.
“I don’t feel happy at all,” Cortes Acosta said. “It’s not the result I wanted, but it taught me a big lesson. I came so prepared for this fight, mentally and physically, and I’m ready to take on the Top 15 in the UFC.
“It was so important for me to get right back into [training]. I love fighting, I’ve been fighting all my life. It’s just another day in the office, but I want to make sure I get back in the win column and in the Top 15.”
On Instagram, Cortes Acosta said he’s coming off the best training camp of his UFC career. One great resource he had at his disposal this camp was an abundance of heavyweight sparring partners. This helped him get constant repetitions with fresh fighters, and develop new skills to showcase the next time he steps into the Octagon.
“First of all, I feel super strong right now,” Cortes Acosta said. “I feel like I’m in the best fight shape ever. The second thing is I learned to check more kicks. My hands got great speed, and I feel a lot of power in my hands, as well, so I’m just ready to perform.”
This weekend, Cortes Acosta returns to action in Singapore, where he’ll face Łukasz Brzeski at UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs The Korean Zombie. A fellow Contender Series alum, Brzeski has yet to pick up a win in the UFC, and is currently on a two-fight skid with decision losses against Karl Williams and Martin Buday.
When he touched down in Singapore earlier this week, Cortes Acosta was greeted by his upcoming opponent. After a wholesome exchange between the two combatants, Cortes Acosta knew it was time to switch to fight mode, where emotions are pushed to the side.
“As a person, I think Łukasz [Brzeski] is really nice,” Cortes Acosta said. “He came over and said ‘hi’ to me and my whole team and was very respectful. As a fighter…I don’t care what he brings, I’m ready to put him away.”
Stylistically, Cortes Acosta’s improvements since his last fight give him confidence that wherever the fight goes, he’ll be a step ahead of his opponent. While he didn’t predict a specific method of victory, Cortes Acosta believes the fight won’t reach the halfway mark of Round 2.
“I just have to look out for his aggressiveness, but other than that, nothing scares me and there’s nothing to be aware of with him,” Cortes Acosta said. “I know he brings punches, but he’s a small heavyweight. I’m ready for [the UFC] to put two titans in the cage and let everything out.”