Anyone tuning in to UFC Vegas 35 in the hope of seeing Tatsuro Taira’s first ever fight in the octagon would have been disappointed. Despite weighing in successfully the previous day his fight with Carlos Candelario was cancelled at the last minute.

The good news for fans hoping to get a first glimpse at the Japanese flyweight is that the fight will go ahead. The bad news is that they will have to wait until May 14th with the bout now scheduled for UFC on ESPN 36.

Last minute

The announcement was made just two hours before the fight was scheduled to take place . The official statement was short and sweet informing fans that,

“Due to illness with Carlos Candelario, his flyweight bout against Tatsuro Taira has been rescheduled for UFC FIGHT NIGHT: BLACHOWICZ vs. RAKIC on May 14.”

Candelario must have fallen ill very late in the day as both fighters had already made weight. Taira tipped the scales at 125.5lbs while his opponent was 126lbs

Major headache

Candelario appears to have been the first fighter to step on the scales. But hours later he would withdraw from the event citing an as yet undisclosed illness.

It must be a major headache for Taira who needs to spend an additional two weeks in the US and find himself a camp to train for the postponed fight. He seemed fairly upbeat in an Instagram post that simply informed fans they would have to wait two more weeks for his UFC debut:

Title dream

Taira has spoken of his desire to be UFC flyweight champion and is obviously taking the postponement in his stride. The opponent and venue haven’t changed, he just has a new date for the fight.

Taira (10-0) is the Shooto flyweight champion and is undefeated as a pro and an amateur. The 22 year old has beaten some experienced opponents but has never fought outside of Japan before.

Candelario (8-1) was awarded a UFC contract despite losing at Dana White’s Contender Series. It was the first loss of the American’s career.

Light heavyweights

UFC on ESPN 36 is set for the Apex Centre in Las Vegas. It will be headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Jan Błachowicz and Aleksandar Rakić.

Blachowicz (28-9 ) will look to bounce back after losing his light heavyweight title to Glover Teixeira at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi. Rakic (14-2) is coming off back-to-back decision wins.

The fight had originally been scheduled for UFC on ESPN 33 on March 26 but Blachowicz pulled out citing an injury.

UFC on ESPN 36, Las Vegas, May 14th
Jan Błachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakić (Light Heavyweight)
Ryan Spann vs. Ion Cuțelaba (Light Heavyweight)
Nick Maximov vs. Andre Petroski (Middleweight)
Katlyn Chookagian vs. Amanda Ribas (Flyweight)
Jake Hadley vs. Allan Nascimento (Flyweight)
Michael Johnson vs. Alan Patrick (Lightweight)
Virna Jandiroba vs. Angela Hill (Strawweight)
Daniel Pineda vs. Jamall Emmers (Featherweight)
Davey Grant vs. Louis Smolka (Bantamweight)
Viviane Araújo vs. Andrea Lee (Flyweight)
Frank Camacho vs. Manuel Torres (Lightweight)
Tatsuro Taira vs. Carlos Candelario (Flyweight)