Tatiana Suarez seems to have all the makings of a future champion: an ever-evolving game, a sharp mind, and a dominant base—arguably the most dominant base in the entire strawweight division: her world-class wrestling skills. Her dominant performance over former strawweight champion Carla Esparza at UFC 228 have led some to question, who exactly can stop this woman? Who is her biggest challenge in the strawweight division? On Monday’s installment of “The Luke Thomas Show,” Suarez was posed this question. She did not provide a cut-and-paste answer that you might expect when someone is put on the spot like this. No, she was able to come up with a very specific name….and it is not the reigning champion.
“I think maybe Andrade,” Suarez told Thomas. “Because you can tell, obviously, that she’s strong. She’s strong, she doesn’t really gas…I’ve never really seen her gas. I mean, we never know how a fighter really…how they feel. We don’t know if they can breathe or not. But a lot of times, it seems to me, her demeanor, that she’s not very tired, even though she’s been fighting for 15 minutes or whatever. And her fight against Joanna, she didn’t really seem to be…I don’t think she looked that tired after a five-round fight. And she went just as hard, you know?
“I mean, Joanna made her look like an average striker, but I’m sure she’s improved since then. But yeah, she has good striking, and she has good ground, and she doesn’t get tired, and she’s physical. So yeah, I think that’s one of my toughest matches.”
It wasn’t all positives, though. The top strawweight prospect did see a hole that she could exploit. It should come as no surprise that it has to do with the wrestling department:
“But I haven’t really seen too much of her wrestling,” Suarez said. “I think most of her wrestling comes from her explosiveness. She just kind of like picks people up and throws them wherever, you know? And I’m like, whoa! What a strong girl! But when I’m watching her, there’s not really any kind of technique there. It’s just explosiveness. So I’m like, uh, if she tries to pick me up and throw me, that’s OK, because I’m really good at landing and really, really good at scrambling from landing. So that’s OK with me if she tries to pick me up or whatever because my scrambling is far more advanced than any of these girls, far more advanced.”
Who do you think would win a fight between Jessica Andrade and Tatiana Suarez right now?