Former Dana White’s Contender Series fighter Edgar Chairez fell short on the Tuesday night staple last year. After winning his next two fights, however, Chairez earned himself a spot on UFC 290, opposite undefeated Japanese flyweight Tatsuro Taira in a 130lb catchweight bout.
Not an easy first assignment for any fighter, especially without a full camp.
It was a feeling-out process between both fighters for the first bit of the opening round of the preliminary card fight on Saturday. Taira was the only one throwing early and it was the leg kicks that started to add up. Chairez landed a stiff jab that was nice. Moments later he landed a leg kick that took the legs out from underneath Taira for a second. Gaining momentum Chairez dropped Taira with a punch. He made a mistake giving up position and going for a guillotine, letting Taira on top. Taira was slowly crawling up the guard and he landed some decent elbows to close out the round (briefly bringing about a warning for 12-6 elbows, though most appeared legal).
In the second round, Taira closed the distance and Chairez again jumped guard for a missed guillotine. Taira quickly moved up to a position he could comfortably sit and actively throw elbows from. He did eventually move into mount and kept the pressure up with his elbows. With a few seconds left Taira jumped guillotine leaving the mount and going to his back. It was super tight but he ran out of time to finish.
Into the final round, Chairez was in need of a finish. In the striking, the best weapon for Taira had been his leg kicks and he continued to throw them. Chairez clearly had the power advantage but wasn’t throwing enough. Taira shot in for the takedown and while Chairez defended early he didn’t survive the chain wrestling of Taira. Stuck off his back Chairez worked back to his feet and then dropped back down for a guillotine. This time it was sunk in and it was tight but unfortunately he ran out of time to finish.
Come the scorecards, all three judges had it in favor of Taira, who has continued to impress since arriving in the UFC.
Official Result: Tatsuro Taira def. Edgar Chairez by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)