UFC heavyweight Juan Espino released a statement after an odd technical split decision loss to Alexandr Romanov at UFC Vegas 24.
Espino was involved in a bizarre fight with Romanov at this past weekend’s UFC event. The two heavyweight grapplers had a very competitive fight for the first two rounds, with most observers believing the fight was tied 19-19 heading into the third and final round. However, the fight ended in a very strange fashion after Espino accidentally kneed Romanov in the groin, which left his opponent unable to continue. Since the foul occurred in the third round, the judges’ had to score the round up until the point, and Romanov was awarded a split decision victory.
A lot of people were confused about how the judges scored the fight for Romanov when it appeared Espino had done enough to win the first and third rounds, but either way the Spaniard lost for the first time in his UFC career. Taking to his social media the day after the fight, Espino expressed frustration with the judges’ decision, as he believed he had done enough to get the win.
“Now it’s time to be honest and with this I do not want to detract from my rival if he has it. I was injured in one arm so I could not perform at the level that I would have liked, I know how things work out and you can never leave that to the discretion of the judges. I’m not apologizing either, I think I won the first, third rounds and when I saw the performance of my rival I felt someone else’s shame,” Espino wrote. “He was supposed to be someone who was going to beat me up, undefeated, favorite, younger, nobody wanted to fight with him because he ran away because in the third round he was going with everything. I did my best and that alone will let my head leave me alone. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the infinite support.”
Espino is 41 years old but looked to be in tremendous shape. Since he didn’t take much damage in the fight, perhaps the UFC can turn him around quickly again after this fight. Even with the loss, he still holds a 2-1 UFC record, and it’s possible the matchmakers may treat this fight as a win, so he could get a bigger-name opponent next despite officially taking the loss.
Who do you want to see Juan Espino fight next?