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*Repost due to being rescheduled*
We have an intriguing fight in the Flyweight division, as newcomers Tatsuro Taira and Carlos “The Cannon” Candelario clash. Having fought solely in Japan, Taira will come to the US looking to prove that he is the best Flyweight on the planet. A perfect 10-0, Taira has impressively defeated four opponents with over ten victories. Meanwhile, Candelario comes into his UFC debut having most recently suffered his first professional defeat via split decision on Dana White’s Contender Series. Despite the loss however, Candelario earned a contract and finally will get a chance to fight under the brightest lights.
As for a prediction, I have Taira winning. From the tape I’ve seen on the Shooto Flyweight Champion, he’s very well rounded. Light on the feet, Taira likes to chop down foes with leg kicks and barrage them with quick strikes. Where his game is at it’s best though, is on the mat. With solid takedowns, devastating ground-and-pound and excellent submissions, Taira is not someone you want to be grappling with. If given even the slightest opening, he will be on you back with a locked in Rear Naked Choke. While Candelario looks UFC ready and could give Taira some fits, ultimately his lack of takedown defense and suspect cardio are going to be factors in this fight. So with that said, I predict Taira will win via submission.