A heavyweight matchup between Juan Espino and Jeff Hughes has joined the approaching UFC 253 card, per the ESPN website. The matchup, which joins the now 10-fight card, was added to the event page on ESPN on Wednesday.
The fight will be Espino’s return to the UFC after winning season 28 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” The season saw him defeat Ben Sosoli and Maurice Greene on the show to advance him to the grand finals
In late 2018, Espino made his UFC debut, defeating Justin Frazier in the first round to win “The Ultimate Fighter.” The victory extended his winning streak to seven-in-a-row as a pro.
Espino announced the matchup via Instagram on Tuesday.
Heading into his fourth UFC fight in late September, Hughes will look for his first victory in the promotion. Hughes debuted in the UFC back in 2019, being scouted through TV series “Dana White’s Contender Series.”
He lost his first fight to Maurice Greene via split decision. His second fight was six months later against Todd Duffee, although that fight ended in a no contest after an eye poke took Duffee out of the matchup.
Hughes’ last appearance was in October of 2019, losing a decision to Raphael Pessoa.
UFC 253 is expected to be held kick off another series of events at “Fight Island” on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi in September. Here’s the current lineup for the pay-per-view card.
Bout 8: Israel Adesanya (19-0) vs. Paulo Costa (13-0) (UFC Middleweight Championship)
Bout 7: Dominick Reyes (12-1) vs. Jan Blachowicz (26-8) (Vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship)
Bout 6: Hakeem Dawodu (11-1-1) vs. Zubaira Tukhugov (19-4-1) (Featherweight)
Bout 5: Kai Kara-France (21-8) vs. Brandon Royval (11-4) (Flyweight)
Bout 4: Ketlen Vieira (10-1) vs. Marion Reneau (9-6-1) (Bantamweight)
Bout 3: Diego Sanchez (30-12) vs. Jake Matthews (16-4) (Welterweight)
Bout 2: Brad Riddell (8-1) vs. Alex da Silva (21-2) (Lightweight)
Bout 1: Nate Landwehr (14-3) vs. Shane Young (13-4) (Featherweight)
Bout 2: William Knight (8-1) vs. Aleksa Camur (6-0) (Light Heavyweight)
Bout 1: Jeff Hughes (10-3) vs. Juan Espino (9-1) (Heavyweight)