Now healthy, Tatiana Suarez eyes UFC strawweight title: ‘I’m going to be a champion’
LAS VEGAS – Tatiana Suarez is clear on what she wants in her return.
It’s been almost four years, since Suarez (8-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) has set foot in the cage and she’ll finally get to break that spell on Saturday. The 32-year-old takes on veteran Montana De La Rosa (12-7-1 MMA, 5-3-1 UFC) in a women’s flyweight contest on the main card of UFC Fight Night 220 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Now resuming her fighting career after injuries, Suarez is keeping no secret about what she is looking for.
“I think I’m going to be a champion,” Suarez told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 220 media day. “I can’t wait to get the belt and then defend it as many times as I can.
“A lot of people like to focus on the whole double champ and whatever, but I think it’s really cool when you have a champion that’s so dominant in their division, and they defend multiple times. I want to defend my belt multiple times before I go up to flyweight and do all that stuff.”
Suarez is returning at 125 pounds, but she intends to make her way down to 115 in the future. She’s open to competing at flyweight, but her main focus is claiming the strawweight title, which is currently held by China’s Zhang Weili.
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Suarez originally put her career on hold due to neck issues. She was then looking to make a return in 2021, but unfortunately tore several major knee ligaments in training and was forced to delay her comeback even more.
It hasn’t been an easy road for Suarez, but she’s made sure to give herself every chance for a return.
“It’s definitely been frustrating,” Suarez explained. “If I was focused on my frustrations, I would probably never get here. Regardless of my frustrations, I made sure to stay motivated and just remember that I want to be the best in the world and that I have to have that mentality whether life is going my way or it’s not. Even after all those years when I was rehabilitating my neck, it was a struggle every single day, especially when you can’t do what you love.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 220.