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UFC Fight Night: Alex Perez vs. Tatsuro Taira

BigArvin

BigArvin

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The UFC returns to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, for another Fight Night event this Saturday, June 15th, 2024. While lacking the star power of some recent cards, this Fight Night offers a clash with significant implications for the flyweight division. The main event features a battle of experience versus rising prospect as former title challenger Alex Perez squares off against the undefeated Tatsuro Taira.

Detailed Fight Card Analysis​

Perez is a well-rounded fighter known for his relentless pressure and grinding style. After a rough patch with three straight losses, Perez bounced back with a knockout victory over Matheus Nicolau in April. The young Japanese star Taira is on a tear, boasting a perfect 24-fight win streak (including amateur). Taira is a technical striker with knockout power, showcased in his last outing where he finished Carlos Hernandez.



The bantamweight clash between Douglas Silva de Andrade vs Miles Johns features a clash of styles. The aggressive striker, de Andrade, known for his booming kicks, will look to overwhelm Johns with a flurry of attacks. On the other hand, Johns is a more calculated counterpuncher who exploits his opponent's mistakes.

A matchup of rising prospects gives the featherweight division a glimpse into the future. Timothy Cuamba, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist, will look to take the fight to the ground and impose his grappling dominance. Lucas Almeida, a well-rounded fighter with a strong wrestling base, will aim to keep the fight standing and showcase his sharp, striking arsenal.

Brady Heistand, a submission specialist, will look to utilize his slick grappling skills to secure a tapout in a bantamweight bout. Garrett Armfield, a heavy-handed striker with a knack for knockouts, will counter with explosive punches and knees in search of a decisive finish.

Almabayev, a Kyrgyz grappling standout, boasts a knack for securing quick submissions. Johnson, making his flyweight debut, is a powerful striker with a history of devastating knockouts in a flyweight bout.

Main Event Spotlight​


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Alex Perez​

Perez boasts a well-rounded skillset with a wrestling base. He possesses strong boxing fundamentals and a developing ground game. His biggest strength is his relentless pressure. He utilizes his wrestling to grind opponents against the fence, peppering them with punches and looking for takedown opportunities. His boxing features good footwork, decent power, and a sharp jab.

While well-rounded, Perez's striking lacks explosiveness. His pressure can be predictable, potentially walking into counters. His takedown defense can sometimes be inconsistent, and he can improve his ground striking.

Expect Perez to utilize his wrestling to control the fight, wear Taira down with body punches, and attempt takedowns to secure a submission or control rounds.

Tatsuro Taira​

Taira is a primarily striking fighter with a strong karate background. He also combines takedown defense and some grappling skills. His biggest strength is his technical striking. He possesses excellent footwork, sharp combinations, and powerful kicks.

He excels at picking opponents apart with precise counterpunches and utilizes a variety of kicks to keep them at bay. His takedown defense is exceptional, making getting him to the ground difficult.
While improving, Taira's grappling is still a work in progress. He hasn't faced a high-level wrestler yet, and his ability to defend sustained takedown attempts remains a question mark. His reliance on counterpunching could leave him vulnerable to Perez's pressure if he gets backed up against the cage.

He will capitalize on openings created by Perez's aggression with counter punches and leg kicks. If taken down, Taira will focus on quickly returning to his feet.

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Predictions and Pre-Fight Analysis​

Several analysts highlight Perez's experience as an advantage. They cite his past victories over tough opponents like Joseph Benavidez to prove his ability to grind out victories. However, others point to past upsets, like Pedro Munhoz defeating Cody Garbrandt, suggesting that Perez should not ignore Taira's undefeated record.

Experts acknowledge the wrestling factor as a potential game-changer. If Perez can consistently take Taira down and impose his grappling like he did against Matheus Nicolau, it could be a recipe for victory. Taira's takedown defense, untested against a high-level wrestler, remains a question mark. Other analysts believe Taira could find a knockout opportunity if Perez gets too aggressive.

Weigh-In Results and Fighter Condition​

The good news for fight fans is that Alex Perez and Tatsuro Taira successfully made weight for the flyweight (126 lbs) limit at the official weigh-ins. It eliminates potential concerns about fighters getting weak by a difficult weight cut, ensuring they enter the octagon in their best physical condition. Neither fighter has a size or weight advantage, ensuring a fair test of their skills.

There have been no official reports of injuries for either fighter. Recent interviews and training footage show that Perez and Taira appear healthy and ready to go. It is a positive sign, suggesting the fight will proceed without any last-minute cancellations due to medical issues.

Fight Night Implications​

A win over Taira would be a major statement for Perez. It would solidify his comeback after a rough patch and potentially propel him back into the flyweight title conversation. Depending on the dominance of his victory, Perez could face the likes of Brandon Royval, Joseph Benavidez, or even a rematch with Deiveson Figueiredo (if Figueiredo loses his belt).

A defeat, especially a decisive one, could set Perez back in the rankings. He might need to string together some wins against lower-ranked opponents to regain his title-shot aspirations.

An upset win over a proven veteran like Perez would be a massive leap forward for Taira. He would undoubtedly crack the flyweight top-five rankings and potentially earn a title shot eliminator fight. A dominant win by Taira could see him matched up against Kai Kara-France, Askar Askarov, or even a shot at the flyweight title if the current champion loses in his next fight.

While a loss wouldn't necessarily derail his career, it would be his first professional defeat. Next, Taira would likely face a ranked opponent, needing to prove he can still contend for the top spots in the division.

Viewing Information​

Fans in the US can catch all the action live on ESPN2 or stream it on ESPN+. International broadcast rights vary by region. For viewers outside the US, consult the official UFC website or local listings for broadcast information.

Social Media Buzz​

Fans are eager to see the main event, a clash of styles between veteran pressure fighter Alex Perez and technical striker Tatsuro Taira. Under #UFCVegas93, they predict the fight outcome, with some favoring Perez's experience and others leaning toward Taira's undefeated record and striking prowess.

Frequently Asked Questions​

Can I watch the fights for free?

In the United States, you'll need a subscription to ESPN+ to stream the event. For other regions, consult the official UFC website or local listings to see if free viewing options are available.

Where can I find live updates and discussions about the fight?

You can follow the UFC and the fighters on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You can also use the #UFCVegas93 hashtag to see what other fans say.

What are the fighters' fighting styles?

Perez is a well-rounded fighter known for his pressure and wrestling. Taira is a technical striker with knockout power.
 
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