Montana De La Rosa says Tatiana Suarez ‘the one with the pressure’ before UFC Fight Night 220
LAS VEGAS – Montana De La Rosa has been out of action for longer than she hoped, but she’ll return to the most high-profile matchup of her career when she meets Tatiana Suarez at UFC Fight Night 220.
De La Rosa (12-7-1 MMA, 5-3-1 UFC) and undefeated Suarez (8-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) will meet in a women’s flyweight bout on the ESPN+ main card Saturday at the UFC Apex. The attention surrounding the fight has almost all to do with the highly touted Suarez, who is competing in the octagon for the first time in three-and-a-half years.
Prior to the layoff, Suarez’s grappling prowess garnered comparisons to Khabib Nurmagomedov, and she was pegged by many as a future UFC strawweight champion.
For that reason, De La Rosa believes all the pressure heading into the fight is on Suarez to deliver.
“There’s not any pressure for me. If anything, she’s the one with the pressure,” De La Rosa told reporters, including MMA Junkie, on Wednesday at UFC Fight Night 220 media day. “I mean, everyone says she’s the next Khabib or the woman Khabib, so I think she has a lot of expectations to live up to in this fight on Saturday.”
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De La Rosa, who lost to Maycee Barber her last time out, is making her return to the cage after a 10-month layoff, which she said was due to “some injuries” and “some medical stuff.” She’s back healthy now and ready to compete.
When the UFC approached her 12 weeks ago with the Suarez offer, De La Rosa jumped at the opportunity to welcome her back and to a higher division.
“Just that she’s a big name, you know. She’s undefeated,” De La Rosa said of why she was excited to face Suarez. “She kind of is one dimensional. I mean, obviously the best at what she does, but I just feel like there’s a lot of things that I can do in there that she hasn’t seen before, especially when she’s moving up to the flyweight division when she’s just been facing smaller opponents. …
“I think she’s physically going to be very strong, because she was dominating at 115. But I’m used to very strong opponents. She’s obviously faced Carla (Esparza), who’s a really great wrestler, but she’s so small, and I think it’s gonna be different when she faces someone who has a wrestling background like me, as well as good striking and good jiu-jitsu, as well.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 220.