Tatiana Suarez showed why she is not only undefeated, but was a heavy favorite over a higher ranked fighter at UFC Fight Night 129 on Saturday in Santiago, Chile.
Suarez emerged in the Octagon from Season 23 of The Ultimate Fighter, where she ran through JJ Aldrich, Kate Jackson, and Amanda Cooper, submitting all three to win the strawweight tournament.
In her first fight following the TUF 23 Finale, Suarez decisioned previously unbeaten fighter Viviane Pereira. In Santiago, she got back to her finishing ways and in dominating fashion.
Suarez never allowed Grasso into the fight. She attacked from the opening bell, firing off a couple of side kicks and punches that set up her first takedown attempt. It took her a few moments, but Suarez eventually got Grasso down with a head and arm throw.
Grasso scrambled and quickly regained her feet, but almost as soon as she did, Suarez took her back to the canvas. From there, she used Grasso’s attempts to escape to transition to her back. Moments later, both hooks were in and Suarez sank a rear-naked choke that forced Grasso to tap.
It was an impressive showing for Suarez, who was behind Grasso in the official UFC rankings, although she now has a 6-0 professional record, including three victories in the Octagon.
“I’ve said time and time again, I’m not here to race to the top, but I feel like I deserve a Top 10 opponent again to prove myself and climb the rankings,” Suarez said after the fight.
“I believe I’m the best strawweight in the world. I’m here to prove it. I feel like I proved it tonight because I beat a girl that’s never been finished.”
The victory should boost Suarez up the rankings and onto the short list of title contenders.
Tatiana Suarez UFC Chile Post-Fight Octagon Interview
(Courtesy of UFC)