Tatsuro Taira vs. Kleydson Rodrigues prediction | UFC on ABC 5 1

Two young and budding prospects clash at UFC on ABC 5 this Saturday when Japanese star Tatsuro Taira faces off with Kleydson Rodrigues whom many hail as a future champion for Brazil.

At just 3-0 in the UFC Taira has already notched names Carlos Candelario, CJ Vergara, and Jesse Aguilar under his belt, two of the three coming by armbar.

Although Rodrigues is 1-1 in the promotion, his lone loss being a split decision to Vergara, the same fighter submitted by Taira, he has shown that the sky is the limit when it comes to creative and unorthodox striking. His total pro record is 8-2, with six of the eight victories coming by stoppage.

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Betting Odds

Kleydson Rodrigues will come into the bout as the decent underdog.

  • Tatsuro Taira: -270 (BetUS)
  • Kleydson Rodrigues: +203 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Kleydson Rodrigues has tremendous skills in every area but by far he is most known for his Muay Thai. He is unorthodox in that he takes a lot of risks in flashy maneuvers, constantly going for jumping knees and spinning attacks, but his more traditional boxing combinations are equally as dangerous. In general, we have seen him both take the forward lead and push his opponent back with his knees and kicks so as to unload his punches when his opponent is on the fence. We have also seen him take the Blackfoot, giving up space to lunge out with knees and kicks as he moves backward. The former is more likely as Taira usually skirts the octagon, trying to maintain his range and land shots from a distance.

That being said, while Taira’s gameplay is likely to move backward and draw Rodrigues forward into a takedown, he has to establish his striking first. One of the criticisms of Taira’s more recent performances is he is too predictable when shooting for the legs from far away, instead he needs to get respect so that Rodrigues reacts to his feints and punches before he level changes. Along with this, Rodrigues may be one of the best in the most dangerous and sharpest when he is fresh, but the expenditure of energy it takes to implement his style is not always efficient over three whole rounds. Taira will have more success dragging Rodrigues down, the later the fight goes.

Taira is very good at meeting the hips when he gets his opponents rushing towards him, capitalizing on the momentum and turning the corner or cutting the other way and clinching the back. Like in his striking, Rodrigues uses a lot of explosive energy when he grapples, and this has served him well at times. If Taira is able to pass into mount at any point, it’s likely that Rodrigues will give up his back and try to explode into Taira to end up in his guard. However Taira is positionally as sound as they get, and if he gets to the back, he will often get to the body triangle quickly, or set up a submission in transition. If he finds himself high on Rodrigues’ back and sees Rodrigues ready to spin, watch for him to throw one leg over the shoulder to set up a triangle or armbar.


Kleydson Rodrigues is always a dangerous task for anyone, and as such a young fighter, he is consistently and will constantly get better between every fight. However the same can be said about Taira, and although Taira may seem like an unappealing favorite at -270, it’s important to note that opening odds had him closer to -400.

Rodrigues is a monster in the opening round, so expect Taira to have to weather a storm, yet if there’s one thing a fighter needs to deal with Rodrigues it’s composure, an attribute that Taira has an abundance of. I expect a competitive fight early on, but Taira capitalizing on positional dominance as Rodrigues’ fades.

Pick: Tatsuro Taira to win (-270)

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