Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Tatiana Suarez Plans To Move Up To Flyweight, Discusses Shevchenko

UFC strawweights are about to come upon some very good news this afternoon when they learn that undefeated phenom Tatiana Suarez is looking at changing weight classes.

Often referred to as the “Female Khabib,” Tatiana Suarez has been completely unstoppable thus far in her MMA career. This includes lopsided dominations over Alexa Grasso and former UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza. The only round she has lost thus far in her career was in a round against Nina Ansaroff in which she suffered a stinger in her neck, which ultimately led to the neck surgery that has sidelined her for two years. 

In addition to the neck injury, she also has recently suffered a broken hand, a concussion during practice, and lingering back issues. There still is no set, definitive timeline for when Suarez will return, but when she does, it will be in the flyweight division (transcription via Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie).

“I want to see how I feel at 125,” Suarez said on “The 1, 2 Podcast with Kendrick and James.” “I’ve never missed weight, not even come close to missing weight. I’ve never had problems making weight … but come fight day, a lot of times I feel tired, and I feel not very strong. I don’t think I cut that much weight because at the start of my camp, I start at 130 and then I get down to 126 and then I cut from there. I don’t think that’s abnormal for a strrawweight…

Tatiana Suarez
Tatiana Suarez Dominates Carla Esparza Photo Credit: UFC Twitter (@UFC)

“But I still think somewhere in that I lose strength, and my cardio doesn’t feel as good. When I’m at practice, I never feel tired, I never feel weak, so I’m like, maybe it’s my weight cut.”

Tatiana Suarez Sizes Up Valentina Shevchenko

Valentina Shevchenko
Image Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Naturally, when the word “flyweight” is brought up in women’s mixed martial arts, the face that instantly comes to mind is the dominant UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. You’d be hard pressed to think of anyone fans have given a chance to defeat Shevchenko in this division, but it seems impossible to deny that Suarez would be a very intriguing matchup for the governing champion.

A few people, most notably UFC President Dana White, said the same thing about Jéssica Andrade and were proven to be wrong at UFC 261. However, Suarez believes there are major differences between her and the Brazilian which would make her a much tougher target for “Bullet.”

“I think my grappling in general is definitely better than Jessica (Andrade’s) because everybody was like Jessica would have the upper hand, and I didn’t think that at all,” Suarez said. “I just think that Jessica is strong. I don’t think that Jessica is technically the best grappler at 125. I would never say that.

“I just think she’s very powerful and strong, and I truly believe that my grappling is way beyond hers in terms of technique. So if I fought Valentina, I don’t think she would be able to impose the same game that she did with Andrade.”

What do you think? How would Tatiana Suarez fare against Valentina Shevchenko?

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