UFC: Alexander Romanov vs. Juan Espino Set For April 17

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Juan Espino
Juan Espino Credit: Fox Sports 1/UFC

A pair of very talented heavyweight grapplers will collide at UFC Vegas 24.

First announced on Alexander Romanov’s Instagram story earlier this month, Juan Espino will fight undefeated Romanov at the event on April 17. Although Espino initially dismissed reports of the booking, he confirmed the fight on social media Friday.

Romanov (13-0) burst on the UFC scene with two impressive wins in 2020. After three prior fight cancellations, the Moldovan fighter made his UFC debut last September at UFC Fight Night: Waterson vs. Hill against Roque Martinez. He submitted Martinez in the first round via arm-triangle. Romanov returned two months later at UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Teixeira, against Marcos Rogério de Lima. He again got the first-round submission, this time by forearm choke. Romanov is the first fighter to pull off a forearm choke.

Spain’s Espino (10-1) returned to action after a 22-month lay-off to submit Jeff Hughes with a rare scarf hold choke at UFC 253 on ‘Fight Island.’ Espino had not fought since winning season 28 of The Ulitmate Fighter. Espino is on a seven-fight win streak.

UFC Vegas 24, also known as UFC on ESPN 22, takes place at the UFC Apex on April 17. With the addition of Romanov vs. Espino, the fight card looks like this:

Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Gerald Meerschaert vs. Bartosz Fabiński
Chase Sherman vs. Parker Porter
Justine Kish vs. Tracy Cortez
Tony Gravely vs. Anthony Birchak
Natan Levy vs. Austin Hubbard
Drakkar Klose vs. Jeremy Stephens
Luis Peña vs. Alexander Munoz
Bill Algeo vs. Ricardo Ramos
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Jacob Malkoun
Josiane Nunes vs. Zarah Fairn Dos Santos
Jessica Penne vs. Lupita Godinez
Alexander Romanov vs. Juan Espino

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