It’s been well over three years since fans have seen Suarez in action. After her last outing, a unanimous decision victory over the now-retired Nina Nunes at UFC 238, the TUF 23 winner embarked on a tumultuous road littered with injuries and setbacks.
That included ahead of her most recent attempt to return in 2021, when a knee injury forced her out of a planned clash with Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 266.
Now, Suarez is determined to make 2023 the year in which she signals her return to the foray, and that’ll start at UFC Vegas 70 next month, At the February 25 event, Suarez is set to share the Octagon with Montana De La Rosa in what will be the undefeated 32-year-old’s flyweight debut.
While first and foremost, Suarez has her sights set on a successful return, she has aspirations beyond her February appearances — ones that will certainly help her make up for lost time.
Suarez Targets Active Year, Strawweight Return
For her comeback fight, Suarez will be competing at 125 pounds for the first time, with the move deriving form her desire to avoid the stress of a weight cut for her first bout back.
But during a recent interview with The Schmo, Suarez noted that it will likely be a short-lived venture for the time being, with the elite wrestler targeting a return to her old stomping ground.
“I’ll just ask for another fight at 115 after this fight,” Suarez said. “Like, I know I will, just because I’ll probably be lower in weight ’cause I’ll have just got done fighting. I’m not that big. I’m not gonna be cutting a lot of weight for 125. It’ll be easy to just stay down. I’ll be smaller. I’ll go through this fight camp, so I’ll get leaner.”
Suarez also revealed that she’s hoping to make the drop back to strawweight as soon as July. And as she looks to make up for a period of forced inactivity, Suarez is hoping to fit a third walk to the cage in before the end of 2023.
“I’ll ask for a fight at 115, hopefully like, around July. I usually don’t sustain too bad injuries when I fight because of the way I fight. Hopefully I get in there, do what I’m supposed to do… then just ask for another fight, hopefully maybe July, and then again in November,” Suarez explained. “I’m trying to get at least three fights. I honestly feel like, by now, I should have had like, 18 fights or something.”
Prior to a string of long-term injuries, some of which required surgery, Suarez was highlighted by many as one of the most promising prospects competing inside the Octagon. That reputation was aided when she tore through former champion Carla Esparza in 2018.
Time will tell if she can make a similar impact upon her return and remain healthy enough to mount a title charge.
Who would you like to see Tatiana Suarez face at strawweight?
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