Juan Espino is the winner of the 28th edition of The Ultimate Fighter and has had three professional fights in the UFC, but he was recently disqualified from a local grappling tournament in the Canary Islands. Give Me The Money 4 took place on May 7th in Gran Canaria and featured four teams of five men competing in a team grappling tournament. At the event, Espino was undoubtedly the highest profile grappler competing and as a professional MMA fighter he had a significant experience advantage over his competition. Regardless, it seems as though the heat of the moment got to him as he made some egregious errors in decision-making in at least one match.
Espino is a grappler first and foremost in his MMA career and he started out with the local style of Canarian wrestling. He’s competed in a wide variety of different styles of wrestling throughout his career, like Indian Kabaddi, Leonese Wrestling, and Senegalese Lucha Laamb with him finding a great deal of success in each one. This is what led Espino to a professional MMA career and he managed to amass an impressive record of 8-1 fighting on the regional circuit. His only loss in this time was to four-time Sambo world champion and future Bellator Heavyweight world champion Vitaly Minakov in just his third professional fight.
This is what led to Espino drawing the attention of the UFC and he fought his way to the final of The Ultimate Fighter 28, winning the final by submission in 2018. After a break from the sport, Espino won his second UFC fight in 2020 and lost a Technical Decision in his third fight for the promotion after an accidental knee to the groin rendered his opponent unable to continue. With seven submission wins in professional MMA, Espino should’ve been able to win against the majority of his opponents at Give Me The Money 4.
While Juan Espino did win several matches throughout the event, his performance was marred by the disqualification that he experienced in his final match. Throughout the history of BJJ there have been a number of incredibly light disqualifications, but this certainly wasn’t one of them. Espino was caught in a tight guillotine and ended up resorting to a blatant eye-poke in order to escape the submission.
The footage of UFC veteran and The Ultimate Fighter 28 winner Juan Espino being disqualified from the local grappling tournament was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Jiu Jitsu World: