Marcel Dorff of MMA DNA reported the bout.
Hughes (10-3-0-1NC) is winless thus far in the UFC, dropping fights to Maurice Greene and Raphael Pessoa, while fighting Todd Duffee to a no contest. Hughes competed on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series Episode 14, defeating Josh Appelt by first round knockout. Hughes is a former LFA heavyweight champion, defeating Richard Odoms to win the gold at LFA 26.
Espino (9-1-0) is The Ultimate Fighter 28 heavyweight winner, defeating Justin Frazier in the finals of the reality show. Espino is competing for the first time in almost two years, with his last fight taking place in November of 2018. Espino has suffered a single defeat as a professional MMA fighter and that came to former Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov at a League S-70 event.
UFC 253 takes place on Saturday, September 26 from Fight Island in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi with Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.