Exclusive: Tatiana Suarez Reacts to Being Dubbed the ‘Female Khabib’ and Offers Her Prediction for Zhang vs. Lemos at UFC 292

Suarez moved to an incredible 10-0 after scoring a second-round submission victory over Jessica Andrade at UFC Nashville.

Tatiana Suarez
Tatiana Suarez - Image credit @tatianasuarezufc Instagram

Strawweight standout Tatiana Suarez is quickly living up to her reputation as the female Khabib Nurmagomedov. 

The Covina, California native once again delivered on the hype, scoring an impressive second-round submission victory over ex-champion Jessica Andrade at UFC Nashville on Saturday night. The victory moved Suarez to 10-0 and into the No. 4 spot in the strawweight rankings. Now, Suarez is eyeing a potential world title fight in her next bout, just as soon as reigning 115-pound queen Zhang Weili takes care of some business with Amanda Lemos at UFC 292 on August 19.

Speaking with James Lynch in a MiddleEasy exclusive interview, Tatiana Suarez offered her take on Zhang vs. Lemos, a fight that could ultimately reveal her next opponent inside the Octagon. 

“At first I thought Lemos, but you know what? I’m not underestimating Weili,” Suarez responded when asked for her prediction. “She has great footwork. I watched Lemos again and I thought about it. I think maybe it’s going to be a lot closer than I thought. I know that Lemos has power, but Weili has really good footwork. Really good movement. So I’m hoping that Weili just puts everything together, and I think she will. I think she’ll try to do some jiu-jitsu, but I don’t know.

“[Lemos] does have really good… I mean, I haven’t seen much of her jiu-jitsu. She stands up a lot. I gotta watch more of her fights, but I know she got that beautiful guillotine against Michelle Waterson and that’s about [all] I’ve seen in terms of her submission game.”

Should Zhang Weili come out on top against Amanda Lemos, Tatiana Suarez is more than confident her in ability to finish the two-time strawweight titleholder. 

“I think I can finish anybody in the world,” Suarez continued. “I think my jiu-jitsu is really, really good. You know, everybody calls me the female Khabib [Nurmagomedov], but I think I’m more like my boyfriend (Patchy Mix) in terms of that. You know, he has mad submissions.”

Asked about being dubbed the “female Khabib” by fans and fighters alike, Suarez was admittedly flattered to be compared with the UFC Hall of Famer, but she believes being called the female Patchy Mix is a more appropriate comparison. Though to be fair, she may be a bit biased in that regard. 

“Obviously, it’s not disrespectful for anything, I’m comfortable if they want to call me that. I think the guy is amazing. He retired undefeated. A world champion and he was a dominant champion. So, I don’t think there’s anything you could call me that would be any better, except for what I told you earlier. Call me the female Patchy Mix.”

Tatiana Suarez Offers Her Take on Grasso vs. Shevchenko II

Zhang Weili vs. Amanda Lemos isn’t the only big women’s title fight coming down the pipeline over the next few weeks. On September 16, Valentina Shevchenko will attempt to reclaim the flyweight world title after surrendering the belt to Alexa Grasso at UFC 285. 

In their first meeting, Shevchenko appeared to be in control, but it only took one mistake for Grasso to pounce on her back and sink in a rear-naked choke, scoring a stunning upset late in the fourth round. Continuing her conversation with James Lynch, Suarez suggested that Shevchenko will leave Bean Town with UFC gold once again wrapped around her waist, but she was unwilling to completely count out Grasso in the highly anticipated rematch. 

“I think Valentina was winning [the first fight]. I don’t know about the scorecards, but I think that she was, and I think Valentina might be able to get her belt back. We’ll see, but I know that Grasso is probably going to make adjustments too. I think that maybe she saw that gap in terms of the back and maybe she’ll still expose her back, but in a different way. Maybe she’s going to work on her wrestling and try to get to her back on her own. 

“In the fight, Alexa didn’t even try to push the wrestling. If anything, she was on the defensive end of that. Valentina was the one being offensive in the wrestling department and I think Grasso should have seen that prior. Maybe she’ll see it now. Like, ‘Oh, I can grapple with this girl,’ because she got her neck last time. And that’s what I saw. When I watch Valentina, [I think] that I can get her neck, or that I could get her in a guillotine. I could get her in any type of submission. 

“I think we’ll see a good fight. I’m not picking any of them. I just know it’s going to be a great fight and I can’t wait for it.”

Published on August 8, 2023 at 3:37 pm
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