UFC on ESPN 58 results: Tatsuro Taira’s back takedown leads to Alex Perez knee injury

Japan’s Tatsuro Taira kept his unbeaten record intact, but an injury to Alex Perez was an anti-climactic finish to an exciting flyweight bout.

In the UFC on ESPN 58 main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Taira (16-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) would see his hand raised after Perez (25-9 MMA, 7-5 UFC) could no longer continue due to a knee injury in a takedown sequence. The official time of the stoppage was 2:59 of Round 2.

The action was fast and frequent as long as it lasted, with the flyweights keeping referee Herb Dean light on his feet.

Taira started the fight working behind a left jab with clean technical striking, while Perez blitzed forward with combinations. Taira weathered his opponent’s offense, eating a few clean strikes on the chin, consistently fired back immediately. Round 1 was intense and built anticipation for how the rest of the fight would unfold.

Perez continued his forward blitzing in Round 2, making for more nice striking exchanges early in the frame. Taira found an entry for a takedown and quickly scrambled take Perez’s back, which would lead to the unfortunate ending of the fight.

Initially on the mat hunting for a rear-naked choke, Taira remained firmly attached to Perez’s back as he stood up. In the center of the cage, Taira leaned back while putting pressure on Perez’s legs in an attempt to get the fight back to the ground. He was successful, but Perez’s knee gave out as they went down.

Perez tapped and began writhing in pain as the cageside physician quickly entered to assess the situation.

Taira, 24, one of the brightest rising stars in the flyweight division, remains undefeated and now holds a win over a former title challenger. While he could not anticipate an injury would be the cause of his win, he improved to 6-0 in the UFC, a run that includes four finishes.

Perez, 32, entered on the heels of a Performance of the Night upset stoppage over Matheus Nicolau in April. Unfortunately, an injury cut short what was a competitive bout against Taira.

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie