Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
Hours before UFC Vegas 53 was set to begin, the event lost its intriguing flyweight opener.
Taira has won all 10 of his professional bouts, most of them taking place in the Shooto promotion where he captured their flyweight title with a first-round submission this past April. The 22-year-old has finished nine of his victories — eight of those in the first round.
Candelario (8-1) recently had his eight-fight winning streak snapped on Dana White’s Contender Series in August, losing a controversial split decision to Victor Altamirano. Despite the loss, the UFC president awarded Candelario a contract after his second appearance on the show. After earning a unanimous decision win on the Contender Series in August 2017, “The Cannon” dealt with a litany of injuries that kept him out of action for four years, leading to a decision win at CES 63 — less than a month before his DWCS bout.