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UFC Vegas 93 video: Tatsuro Taira wins after Alex Perez suffers knee injury, calls out Alexander Pantoja

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Tatsuro Taira made the most of his first UFC main event, even if the result wasn’t pretty.

The undefeated Japanese flyweight kept his perfect record intact, improving to 16-0 after opponent Alex Perez was unable to continue due to a knee injury. The finish came after Taira took Perez’s back and intertwined their legs, which led to the fighters falling back and Perez immediately grabbing at his leg in pain.

Watch video of the ending below.

Referee Herb Dean was quick to react to Perez’s injury and he officially waved off the bout at the 2:59 mark of Round 2.

That’s now six wins in the UFC for Taira, a 24-year-old prospect who joined the promotion in 2022. Perez falls to 25-9 with the loss and faces an uncertain future, with the severity of his injury still to be determined.

As for Taira, he made his plans clear in his post-fight interview. Asked who his next opponent should be, Taira aimed at the very top of the division, calling for a fight with flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja.

Though it’s unclear if the matchmakers are looking to shoot Taira to the front of the contenders’ line, he fared well in the biggest test of his young career. Perez took the fight to his less experienced foe in the first round, utilizing leg kicks and quick combos to keep Taira at bay. Taira’s strategy was focused around using a Thai clinch to smother Perez, but the one-time title challenger kept the fight at his preferred distance for the majority of Round 1.

Taira entered Round 2 down on the scorecards, but showed off improved striking to narrow the gap. He may also have benefited from a pair of eye pokes, one in each round, each of which caused brief delays in the fight. Eventually, Taira scored a takedown and took Perez’s back. Perez worked to stand and prevent Taira from securing the position, which led to the fateful fall.

UFC Vegas 93 took place June 15 at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.

Get complete UFC Vegas 93 results here.

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