On The Ultimate Fighter 28 (TUF) the biggest rivalry on the show is not between coaches as past seasons have shown. Rather, it is between Maurice Greene and Juan Espino. The two went back-and-forth with verbal attacks all season long. Every episode Greene and Espino seemed to be close to fighting each other, whether it be at the gym or at the house.
However, it wasn’t always like that according to Greene. As he mentioned during an episode, Espino and him were cool at tryouts. But once they got into the house and were on opposite teams, that is when everything changed.
“Tryouts we were cool. Tryouts we were kicking it. Everything was all fun and games, but I think for him that is when it started for him,” Greene told BJPENN.COM. “He was kind of gaming everybody, like he was acting like he would only show some people his jiu-jitsu wins. Now that I go back and think about it, I think he was trying to intimidate us, it was a mind game. It wasn’t that serious for me, because we go in there, they close the door and we fight. We shake hands after and we are cool. He was playing all these mind games and I thought he was a genuine dude. I liked him and I was pissed off that when we weren’t on the same team he was two-faced. That s**t kind of pissed me off.
“Then, on top of that, on the show he acts like he is this peaceful nice guy. No, he is a f***ing a**hole, you know. He is a f***ing a**hole,” Greene continued. “He does things that are sly and slick that don’t look mean to the general public but I am not goofy. I am not f***ing goofy and I can see through that s**t, b***h. I just had no respect for him. He is like a big f***ing ogre. Just a big ogre, nobody cares about your hair. He always walked around with his motherf***ing shorts on. Put some clothes on.
“He just rubbed me the wrong way and I will probably never like him and I don’t care if he will never like me. Like, it is funny, cause I said whatever I had to say to him to his face and he tries to say it on social media like he is sly. Like, b***h, you got a problem come see me, come talk to me. You don’t gotta sit there and do it on social media, b***h. It is what it is. Most people I like, I’m a cool guy but if I don’t like you, I don’t like you, it is what it is. At the end of the day, I tried to keep the peace, but it doesn’t mean I don’t like you I just tried to keep the peace.”
Ultimately, the two got to finally fight in the house. However, that episode is not on for two more weeks, meaning no one knows how the fight turned out other than the fighters on the show. Greene signed a non-disclosure agreement with the UFC saying he can’t tell anyone how that fight went, so he just encourages fans to watch the show.
No matter how the fight plays out though, Greene will never like Espino. Although Greene got into verbal arguments with other fighters on the show, he has since mended fences and gets along with everyone else. But he knows he will never like Espino and he made that clear.
“Not too many people had egos with the exception of el f**ko, he had a sh***y a** ego. Besides from him, everyone else was cool,” he said.
Greene is one win away from fighting in the finals. If he comes out victorious against Espino, he will fight his best friend in the house in Justin Frazier. Even though they are friends it is something that will need to happen, as, for Greene, the goal was to get signed to the UFC and he is in reach of that.
Check back on Tuesday where Maurice Greene and Justin Frazier talk about how the TUF house created a lifelong friendship between the two of them.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/12/2018.