Perez faces unbeaten Taira

mma10 June 2024 09:07| © Backpage TXT
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Alex Perez © Gallo Images

Alex Perez will face the challenge of unbeaten Tatsuro Taira in the flyweight main event of a UFC Fight Night, set for the APEX Facility in Las Vegas on the morning of Sunday 1 June 2024.

Perez (25-8), a former flyweight championship contender, recently returned to winning form by defeating Matheus Nicolau with a second-round knockout in late April.

The 32-year-old American is looking to bring himself back into title contention – and the scalp of rising star Taira would go a long way in reinforcing that ambition.

“Everyone counted me out after three losses,” said Perez. “I tell people I don't get paid to sit on the couch, I get paid to fight and this is the reason why. Tough times don't last, but tough people do.”

Taira (15-0) is unbeaten in his professional MMA career and has beaten Carlos Candelario, CJ Vergara, Jesus Santos Aguilar, Edgar Chairez and Carlos Hernandez since joining the UFC in May 2022.

This first main event for the 24-year-old is confirmation that he is considered a potential superstar by the UFC – though he will need to back that faith up with another strong performance.

“I know it’s not in my control, but I really want to be moving up the division as quickly as I can,” said Taira. “When you’re a ranked fighter, you only get big, tough fights – and that’s exactly what I want.”

He added, “Being a role model is something that I take pride in, and something that’s important, but I don’t feel pressure – it’s an honour.

“I just want to be myself, have fun, and help lead the next generation.”

The rest of the main card features Timothy Cuamba taking on Lucas Almeida in the featherweight division; a flyweight fight sees Asu Almabayev and Jose Johnson go to war; and two bantamweight battles pit Douglas Silva de Andrade and Brady Hiestand against Miles Johns and Garrett Armfield respectively.

UFC Fight Night: Perez v Taira – Main card

Main event: Flyweight: Alex Perez v Tatsuro Taira

Featherweight: Timothy Cuamba v Lucas Almeida

Bantamweight: Douglas Silva de Andrade v Miles Johns

Flyweight: Asu Almabayev v Jose Johnson

Bantamweight: Brady Hiestand v Garrett Armfield