Tatsuro Taira gunning for Alexandre Pantoja title fight with UFC on ESPN 58 main event win

Tatsuro Taira thinks a victory over Alex Perez in Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 58 main event could solidify a flyweight title shot.

Taira (15-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) brings an undefeated record into his first octagon headliner with former title challenger Perez (24-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) at UFC Apex (ESPN2, ESPN+). The matchup has significant implications on the title picture, and Taira wants to show he belongs at the top.

“I want to show my technique, skills, everything I have – I always look to do all of it,” Taira told MMA Junkie and other reporters through an interpreter at Thursday’s media day. “Alex Perez is well-rounded. He has everything. I can beat him at all aspects. That’s my preparation for this training.”

Taira, 24, said he’s predicting a knockout or submission of Perez in what he hopes will be a definitive statement that he deserves to be next to challenge 125-pound champion Alexandre Pantoja (28-5 MMA, 12-3 UFC), who is hungry for fresh contenders.

“My target is Pantoja,” Taira said. “Recently he fought five rounds (against Steve Erceg), so I’m going to beat him up the third round.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 58.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie