After 22 months away from the octagon, Juan Espino makes his return.
Winner of season 28 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Espino will meet Jeff Hughes at UFC 253 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi on Sept. 26. Espino announced the booking via Instagram on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
Juan Espino last competed on the TUF 28 Finale in November 2018. He submitted Justin Frazier in the first round.
In order to make it to the finale, he submitted current UFC heavyweight Maurice Greene in the first round of the semifinals. He also picked up a unanimous-decision win against Ben Sosoli in the first round of the tournament in 2018.
The 39-year-old is on a nine-fight win streak.
Hughes is still in search of his first octagon victory after three UFC bouts. He most recently dropped a unanimous-decision loss to Raphael Pessoa at UFC on ESPN+ 20 in October 2019.
He previously fought to a no contest with Todd Duffee after accidentally poking Duffee in the eye at UFC on ESPN+ 16 in September 2019. In his UFC debut, Hughes lost via split decision to Greene at UFC on ESPN+ 4 in March 2019.
Current UFC 253 card:
Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa – 185 lbs
Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Błachowicz- 205 lbs
Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov – 145 lbs
Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Royval – 125 lbs
Ketlen Vieira vs. Marion Reneau – 135 lbs
Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Matthews – 170 lbs
Brad Riddell vs. Alex da Silva – 155 lbs
Nate Landwehr vs. Shane Young – 145 lbs
William Knight vs. Aleksa Camur – 205 lbs
Jeff Hughes vs. Juan Espino – 265 lbs