UFC 253 Update: Heavyweights Juan Espino, Jeff Hughes to Clash in Abu Dhabi

By Tristen Critchfield Sep 8, 2020


“The Ultimate Fighter 28” winner Juan Francisco Espino Dieppa will return to action for the first time since winning the reality show when he faces Jeff Hughes at UFC 253.

Espino confirmed the heavyweight pairing on social media Tuesday. UFC 253 takes place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi and is headlined by a middleweight championship tilt between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Henrique Costa.

Espino last appeared at the “TUF 28” finale, where he submitted Justin Frazier in the opening stanza. The 39-year-old Spainard is 9-1 as a professional, with his only setback coming against former Bellator champ Vitaly Minakov in April 2011.

After earning a contract on Season 2 of Dana White’s Contender Series, Hughes is still looking for his first UFC triumph. The Strong Style Fight Team has lost decisions to Raphael Pessoa and Maurice Greene while a showdown with Todd Duffee ended in a no contest due to an accidental eye poke. “Lights Out” is 10-3 as a professional overall.

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