Tatiana Suarez overcame a long layoff to earn a dominant victory over Viviane Pereira on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 120 in Norfolk
Suarez cited freshly-crowned UFC strawweight champion Namajunas as an inspiration following her shocking knockout of dominant champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 217.
Rather than seeking to emulate Namajunas, Suarez is aiming to take her time in ‘earning her way to the top’:
“I want to stay busy; that’s what I want to do,” Suarez told MMAjunkie after the win. “I want to face tough opponents and put in multiple battles. I want to earn my way to the top. I don’t want to just be like, ‘Mouth, mouth, mouth – I’m fighting for the title.’ I want to work for that. I want a journey to there. That’s what makes that win that much better.”
Suarez was impressive on the night, shaking off any concerns of ring rust with a tremendously assured performance. Although she did not pick up the finish, she is happy with the result:
“I knew she was going to be a tough opponent, and that’s what my coaches were telling me before the fight,” Suarez said. “It pushes you; it shows you how much you have. She was tough to put away, and give me five more seconds in the last round and I would have finished her, but I’m really excited. I’m proud of my performance, especially after a long layoff.
“Whatever the UFC gives me, I’ll take it,” Suarez said. “That girl was 13-0 and when they gave me her name I said yes. I’m not scared to put myself out there. You’ve got to take chances in order – you’ll never know unless you put yourself out there.”