It was reported Tuesday that Jessica Andrade is close to finalizing her first title defense, slated to be against Weili Zhang at UFC on ESPN+ 15 in Shenzhen, China. That leaves Tatiana Suarez, whom many considered to be a shoo-in for Andrade’s first title defense, as the odd woman out. Suarez defeated #3-ranked Nina Ansaroff at UFC 238 to improve her spotless record to 8-0. But even though she was bypassed for the #6-ranked Zhang, Suarez is not upset by the promotion’s decision. In fact, she finds it to be a blessing in disguise:
“I wasn’t angry at all. And I said that after my fight. I told them, I obviously want the fight, but I didn’t want people to hang on, wait for me, obviously,” Suarez said in an interview on The Luke Thomas Show. “But it’s OK. I’m not upset. I don’t care. It’ll give me time to really figure out what’s going on with my neck, and heal up, and be 100% next time. And that’s really what’s important to me.
Tatiana Suarez disclosed debilitating neck pain during her bout with Nina Ansaroff at UFC 238, stating that the stinger caused her left arm to go numb, with the numbness growing gradually worse as the fight progressed. Suarez was able to come away with the victory on Saturday, but now she is prioritizing her health above her career and said as much to the boss himself:
“I talked to Dana a little bit afterwards,” Suarez said. “I told him I was sorry about the performance I had. But he was proud of me anyways. And he told me good job. And he told me to heal up and make sure I’m healthy…
“Being healthy is really important to me. love fighting. It means a lot to me. But I’d rather be able to walk.”
Who do you believe Tatiana Suarez face upon her Octagon return?