UFC on ESPN 10: Jordan Espinosa Says Octagon Saturday Felt Even Smaller than Contender Series

Las Vegas, NV — Jordan Espinosa earned a much-needed win Saturday night at UFC on ESPN 10. In a fight that felt like a “loser leaves town” sort of affair, Espinosa, who had lost two straight, took on Mark De La Rosa — who entered the night having lost three in a row.

One man was going to buy some breathing room Saturday, and it turned out to be Espinosa, who went the distance with “Bumblebee” and picked up a unanimous decision win.

After going 15 full minutes for a change, Espinosa said he was feeling good following the bout, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press post-fight. “Coming off of my last two fights, I’ve only had about two and a half minutes of work. And that’s, in over a year’s time. So, it felt really good to get 15 minutes. It felt really good to kind of test myself and it felt really good to show more than one facet of my game,” he said.

“You guys haven’t been able to see much the past year except maybe a lack of my jiu-jitsu defense,” Espinosa added. “But I think I was able to show I have decent striking, decent wrestling, have good clinch work, cage work. And so it all came together last night. I’m happy about it.”

While Espinosa admitted pre-fight that he was surprised he hadn’t been cut after his last loss, he said following the win that he didn’t feel any added pressure on Saturday.

“If you wonder why, when you see me walking out, I have a big-ass smile on my face all the time, it’s because I’m so happy to be here. I’m so grateful for the opportunity and I love this stuff. I love this sh*t,” said Espinosa. He added that he realizes how fortunate he is to be able to do fight for a living, saying “so when I make that walk, I realize that anything can happen. A loss is kind of just a loss. Don’t get me wrong, I hate losing, but it’s not the end of the world.”

That’s a perspective, explained Espinosa, that’s he’s maintained for the last three or four years. During which time “my performances have kind of come together. Not my last two, obviously, but it’s healthy for me more mentally too. So I realized this is a something I get to do. It’s a pleasure. And I try to go out there and enjoy it every single time no matter the outcome.”

Espinosa faced Mark De La Rosa in an essentially empty UFC Apex on Saturday. Though for him, it was familiar territory. He fought on Dana White’s Contender Series in both 2017 and 2018. Prior to the show moving to the UFC Apex. “I was on the Contender Series twice, so it wasn’t that that much different,” he told Cageside Press. With one notable exception. “I feel like this cage was smaller than even the Contender Series cage I fought in,” he observed, before adding “I don’t know that for sure.”

The cage in use Saturday is believed to be the smaller of the UFC’s octagons, at 25 feet.

Watch the full UFC on ESPN 10 post-fight press conference with Jordan Espinosa above!