Juan Espino and Alexander Romanov they were going to have a very close contest on paper. It was the forecast and it was fulfilled on the octagon of the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. That beautiful fight ended in the worst way: with controversy and controversy. The Spanish fell by split decision (29-28, 28-29 and 29-28) after an accidental knee. ‘El Guapo’ pressed the Moldovan against the cage, to whom he tried to connect a knee that hit him in his genitals. The action did not seem too much, but from the first moment Romanov fell to the ground, was unable to follow and showed conspicuous gestures of pain when getting up. Generate doubts. Was it so much? Only the fighter himself knows the truth … then it was up to the judges to speak. As the second round had been exceeded and it was a non-voluntary action, the third round had to be scored (1’05 “had elapsed) and the fight would have a result instead of ending as ‘No Contest’. After listening to Bruce Buffer, Espino resigned himself while his opponent seemed to apologize and end up equally dissatisfied.
Outside of the controversial finale, the fight had previously been very interesting. Romanov started well, strongly. Espino was very good in terms of distance and that led to the unbeaten to provoke the start takedown. Juan did not take long to regain verticality. He turned the situation around and it was he who managed to take Romanov to the floor and send. The round ended with the Moldovan throwing a desperate blow that the Spaniard passed. Maximum equality, but something else did the one from Gran Canaria. The second act was also very physical. Espino left one of the movements of the night. Romanov caught one of his legs and kneed him with the other. Tremendous jaw of the undefeated, who resisted. The Spaniard tried the guillotine, but was able to get out. Later he achieved Romanov dominance and controlled with the ground and pound. Again maximum equality, but those blows from the Moldovan put the contest 1-1.
Romanov gave on the scale 119.7 kilos and Espino 116.5. The demand was maximum and the fatigue of both too, but everything had to be left in the octagon. “If you win this round, you win the fight,” they told the Spaniard in the corner before the third round. He went for it. Dominance of ‘El Guapo’ during the 65 seconds that could be played. Then came the controversy. With the regulation in hand there is no discussion, but was the coup so bad? Was tiredness more influential than action? The doubts that remain in the air are many since the last word is always from the affected fighter. Two judges had given the first two rounds to the Moldovan, which was key, since the last one went to Espino in the three cards. The direct rematch seems the most fair. This story cannot stay that way.
Whittaker wins Star Wars at Gastelum
Whittaker punches Gastelum during their match at UFC Las Vegas 24. UFC
In the main event at UFC Las Vegas 24, Robert Whittaker beat Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision (triple 50-45). The fight was vibrant and although the Australian clearly won, the American (of Mexican roots) had his options. The real balance was more equal than that of the points. Gastelum came out determined to KO, but Whittaker knew how to neutralize it well. First with kicks and then taking him to the ground in the first round. From second to fifth, Whittaker counterpunched brilliantly. He was connected, but he always knew how to put more precise strokes and that counted more when it came to the cards. In the last round, Gastelum came out aggressive and Whittaker managed to put the fight to sleep on the ground. Clear dominance, but vibrant fight to close out the last non-crowded UFC Apex event. With the win, the Australian looks to the title. The rematch against Adesanya should be next for himl.