Juan Espino (-300) vs. Jeff Hughes (+240) Prediction
UFC 253 Preview: Injuries and other setbacks have delayed Juan Espino in making his official UFC debut by almost two years, but the heavyweight finally gets his shot on the big stage against Jeff Hughes this Saturday.
It was in November 2018 that “El Guapo” submitted Justin Frazier in The Ultimate Fighter 28 finale, boosting his career record to 9-1 at the ripe age of 37.
Taking that journey into account, it appears the UFC have handed the returning fighter a chance at a fresh start against Hughes, who is without a win in three fights (though that includes one no contest).
New Jersey bettors can back Espino at -300 with William Hill, but the +150 price for him to employ his considerable ground skills and get the submission victory is where we’re focused.
Hughes has never been tapped in his career, though that’s no abnormality among heavyweights, and 39-year-old Espino is likely to lean heavily on his strengths in pursuit of a safe return to winning ways.
Prediction: Espino via submission
Odds via Caesars