After a lengthy three-year lay-off, undefeated phenom Tatiana Suarez made a successful return to the Octagon by submitting Montana De La Rosa in the second round of their flyweight fight at UFC Vegas 70.
A top-five contender at strawweight in 2019, Suarez was removed from the rankings after she suffered a neck injury that kept her out of action for two years, up until 2021, when she moved up in weight and was expected to face Roxanne Modafferi, but unfortunately, she was forced to withdraw again due to a knee injury. In her much-anticipated return on Saturday, Tatiana had a fairly easy Octagon outing, submitting De La Rosa in the second round, although she wasn’t at her absolute best.
What’s Next For Tatiana Suarez?
Suarez’s flyweight bout was a one-off as she said prior to her fight, and she wants to continue fighting at strawweight. She is currently unranked, but after a spectacular return to fighting, we should expect her to enter the strawweight top five or at least the top ten by Tuesday. The wrestling ace looked excellent against De La Rosa, considering the fact that she hadn’t fought for nearly four years. Whether she’d go for another tune-up fight before competing with the best girls at strawweight and flyweight remains to be seen.
At strawweight, a fight between Suarez and Rose Namajunas would make a lot of sense, but Namajunas would be hoping for a title shot given her twin wins over the champion, Zhang Weili. If Suarez doesn’t get to fight Rose, she should target someone in the top five, like Amanda Lemos or Marina Rodriguez.
If Suarez wants to try her luck at flyweight, she should lock horns with Erin Blanchfield in a potential title eliminator. Both women are undefeated in the UFC, and are coming off impressive wins in their most recent fights. Blanchfield dominated former strawweight champion and flyweight title challenger Jessica Andrade in her most recent fight at UFC Vegas 69, and wants to fight for the title next.
With champion Valentina Shevchenko already booked to defend her title against Alexa Grasso in March at UFC 285, a fight between Suarez and Blanchfield makes a lot of sense.
They are both exceptional grapplers, and a fight between the two would be fireworks.
Who do you think Tatiana Suarez should fight next?