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UFC Vegas 53 preliminary card opener scratched due to illness

Tatsuro Taira vs. Carlos Candelario has been postponed.

I suppose it’s not a UFC card until there’s a late cancellation.

The opener to the UFC Vegas 53 preliminary card between flyweights Tatsuro Taira and Carlos Candelario has been postponed to UFC Vegas 54 on May 14th. Both men made weight on Friday but Candelario was forced to withdraw from the event due to illness, promotion officials announced on Saturday.

Taira (10-0) was set to make his UFC debut after racking up eight finishes out of his 10 wins as a professional MMA fighter. Last year the 22-year-old stopped Japanese MMA veteran and former WEC title challenger Yoshiro Maeda, and in his final Shooto appearance he won the promotion’s flyweight title.

Candelario (8-1) is a veteran of the regional promotion CES MMA. He competed on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2017, winning against Ronaldo Candido but not getting a UFC contract. Candelario returned to DWCS in 2021 but lost to Victor Altamirano in his last bout.

UFC Vegas 53 is now down to 11 fights, but the main event between Rob Font and Marlon Vera remains intact... for now! You can’t take anything for granted in this sport.