As a fighter there is always pressure. But Japanese flyweight Tatsuro Taira is even more determined than normal to win at UFC Vegas 83 this weekend.

He faces Carlos Hernandez at the Apex Centre in Las Vegas. Taira has never lost a fight and boasts a 14-0 record but he is particularly keen not to lose this one because of the timing.

Taira says that suffering the first loss of his career in December would totally ruin Christmas,

“It’s very important for how I spent my Christmas, I have to get the win.”

Same environment

Three of Taira’s four UFC fights have taken place at the Apex Centre. This card was originally scheduled for Shanghai but got moved to Las Vegas.

It sounds like Taira is very comfortable fighting there and says it has started to feel normal for him,

“I’m very relaxed. I’m used to this environment (so) I don’t even feel like i have a huge fight coming up.”

Taira remains unranked despite having won four UFC fights and feels that this is the next hurdle he needs to overcome,

“I’ve been able to show my strengths, especially my submission skills but now I need to show I’m worthy of a ranking.”

Taira beat Edgar Cháirez by decision at UFC 290. By the Japanese flyweight’s stellar standards it was a close fight and he has had time to review and reflect on it,

“After the fight I was confident that I had the decision, but after checking the video I realized that he had some chances as well. He had his moments so I really learned how to play the decision game. Even when I can’t finish I have to keep control of the fight.”

Taira has submitted two opponent so far in the UFC and picked up two $50,000 USD performance bonuses in the process. He is only 23 but already has plenty of experience competing both in and out of the octagon.

One of the lessons that Taira has learned is the importance of having fin when he fights. If he is enjoying himself at the Apex Centre this weekend then the Japanese flyweight is sure he will find the finish,

“I think the most important thing for me is to enjoy the match, enjoy the fight, and if I do then I am sure I can find a finish.”