Undefeated strawweight juggernaut Tatiana Suarez (8-0) continued to roll in her last bout against Nina Ansaroff at UFC 238 in a unanimous decision victory, but a neck stinger sustained in training reoccurred during the fight and grew progressively worse, resulting in Suarez losing her first round in MMA. The next time Suarez competes, she’d like to ensure she is at her best for the fight’s full duration:
“I’m saying October. I think that’s a good time,” Suarez revealed to theScore MMA. So they had asked me if I wanted to fight in August, August 2. And I was like, no, I need to heal up. I need to make sure that I’m healthy. I need to make sure that I’m 100%. And I definitely wasn’t 100%, not even close. So I just want to make sure that I’m healthy, I’m in there, and I could just focus on my fight.”
With her victory over Nina Ansaroff, Tatiana Suarez had hoped to be in position to challenge for the UFC strawweight championship. Unfortunately, her neck injury has already proved to be a setback for Suarez’s short-term goal of reaching champion status. Instead, her shot will go to an unlikely contender, Weili Zhang, a choice that surprised many, including Suarez:
“I didn’t know that she was that close to even getting a title shot,” Suarez said of Zhang. “Like, that was really strange to me. But considering the division and everybody in the division at this time, it made sense. So, yeah, it’s cool. It’s a good matchup. I’m sure she’ll give Jessica a hard time.”
Another fight on the strawweight horizon is Joanna Jedrzejczyk taking on Michelle Waterson, which may very well be the title eliminator that Tatiana Suarez hoped her bout against Ansaroff would be. But Suarez believes that one of those two women is much more likely to receive the next title shot with a victory than the other:
“I believe that if Michelle wins her next fight, I feel that she would definitely get a title shot. I don’t know if it’s the other way around. If Joanna won, would she get a title shot? I don’t know,” Suarez said. “Considering the division, how weird it is right now, she could maybe. I don’t know. But I feel like if Michelle won, definitely that would be a title-contention fight.”
Whom do you believe Tatiana Suarez should fight upon her return?