Tatiana Suarez is unsure where a win over Jessica Andrade will lead her but hopes that it will set her on the path toward a title opportunity or a potential clash with fan favorite ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas.
Suarez is slated for her second appearance of 2023 when she steps inside the Octagon for a showdown with former strawweight world champion Jessica Andrade. After a four-year-long layoff, Suarez made a stunning comeback, securing a second-round submission against Montana De La Rosa in February. With her title aspirations at an all-time high, the Covina, California native hopes a win over a former titleholder will earn her her first crack at UFC gold.
Appearing on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Suarez spoke about her upcoming clash with Andrade on August 5 and whether or not a win would secure her a strawweight world title opportunity.
“I was really thinking about this because of the position that I’m in, but I just don’t really understand the division right now,” Suarez admitted. “Because Yan [Xionan] came back with a big win over [Jessica] Andrade, so I don’t know where that puts me. Does that mean me and Yan will fight? You know what I mean? I don’t know what that means. Or does Yan already have the shot (at the strawweight title), and she’s just waiting for [Amanda] Lemos and Zhang [Weili] to fight, and I’m gonna fight somebody else?
“I’m not exactly sure what they’re going to have me do, but I just know that I’m excited for the fight. Because it’s a great fight in terms of she’s a former world champion. She’s beaten a lot of great girls, so I’m looking forward to the competition.”
Tatiana Suarez laments not being able to fight Rose Namajunas now that they're switching weight classes 😁 #TheMMAHour
— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) June 26, 2023
Tatiana Suarez Hopes to Test Her Skills Against ‘Thug’ Rose in the Future
Initially, Suarez returned to the Octagon at flyweight but has since moved down to strawweight, where she hopes to contend for UFC gold in the near future. Suarez assumed that path would eventually lead her to a scrap with two-time strawweight titleholder Rose Namajunas, but with ‘Thug’ Rose announcing her move to flyweight, it appears as though the two women have once again sidestepped what could have been an incredibly intriguing matchup.
“Yeah, every time I see [Rose], and whenever I say I want to fight her, it’s not like I just want to go beat her up or something,” Suarez said. “Like that, I don’t like her. I just think that she’s such a good fighter. I’ll watch her, and I’m amazed at how great she is. And I’m thinking. I want to fight the best of the best. I want to fight the best people because, obviously, that means that I’m the best when I beat them.
“Or even if I don’t beat them, I still shared the cage with an amazing mixed martial artist. It’s all about the competition for me. It’s not about wins and losses. Nothing like that. For me, it’s about competition. That’s the stuff I thrive on. I do it every day at the gym.”
Tatiana Suarez is currently ranked No. 10 in the strawweight division, holding a perfect 9-0 record in her mixed martial arts career, with six of those victories coming under the UFC banner. A win over Jessica Andrade will likely skyrocket her into the top five, leading to a potential title eliminator or a title fight in her next outing.