Who is Tatsuro Taira? Here's all you need to know about the highly-rated fighter competing at UFC Vegas 83
Tatsuro Taira is scheduled to make his highly-anticipated return at UFC Vegas 83. The event will transpire at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on Saturday (December 9, 2023).
Taira will face 30-year-old US native Carlos Hernandez in a three-round flyweight bout at UFC Vegas 83. Ahead of his upcoming fight, MMA fans and experts alike have showered praise on the rising Japanese star.
The undefeated Tatsuro Taira is viewed by many as a future UFC champion. A kickboxer and former Shooto flyweight champion, he's been lauded for his well-rounded MMA skill set.
Born in Naha, Okinawa, Japan, Taira took up the sport of baseball in his growing years. During his elementary/junior high years, he aimed to become a professional baseball player.
The talented athlete eventually turned his focus to kickboxing and then to MMA. Presently, Taira is focused on his MMA career and has vowed to become a UFC champion.
Apparently, UFC bantamweight elite Marlon 'Chito' Vera is Tatsuro Taira's favorite fighter. Furthermore, akin to UFC megastar Israel Adesanya, Taira is an ardent fan of anime and manga, including the world-renowned 'Naruto' series. The 'Naruto' franchise's representatives notably roped him in to help understand how pragmatic some of the combat maneuvers in the series truly are.
Taira made his professional MMA debut at the Shooto: This is Shooto 2 event in August 2018, beating Yo Otake via first-round submission. He amassed a 10-0 record before making his UFC debut at UFC on ESPN: Błachowicz vs. Rakic in May 2022.
His maiden UFC matchup witnessed him defeat Carlos Candelario by unanimous decision. Following that, the highly-rated up-and-coming fighter submitted C.J. Vergara and tapped out Jesus Santos Aguilar.
The Japanese MMA stalwart is fresh off a unanimous decision win against Edgar Chairez at UFC 290 in July 2023. Presently, Taira boasts a professional MMA record of 14 wins and no defeats, with a UFC record of 4-0. His record comprises three KO/TKOs, seven submissions, and four decision victories.
Tatsuro Taira discusses choosing the UFC over Japanese MMA promotions
In a recent interview with MMA Junkie ahead of his fight at UFC Vegas 83, Tatsuro Taira shed light upon why he's been building a career in the UFC rather than competing in Japanese MMA promotions. For years, the UFC has been heralded as the world's premier MMA organization.
Alluding to the same, Tatsuro Taira suggested that since the very beginning, his aim as an MMA fighter was to compete in the UFC instead of MMA promotions in Japan. While most Japanese prospects end up performing under the Rizin MMA banner and other Japan-based promotions, he has his sights set on becoming a UFC mainstay.
Expressing his respect for Japanese promotions, the 23-year-old reiterated that he's here to stay in the UFC:
"I have no regrets about that choice, and I’m proud of my decision. I’m a fan of the Japanese promotions and respect that path as well, but the UFC was always my goal."