Top Turtle MMA: Tatiana Suarez Ready To Resume Her Career


The UFC currently finds itself at a crossroads. 

The stars of yesteryear seem to have all disappeared in various ways. Jon Jones has yet another set of legal battles. Conor McGregor seems to be in a career limbo, where he doesn’t know if he’s a boxer or an MMA fighter. Ronda Rousey is effectively retired. Between these facts and recent ratings, it’s clear that the UFC needs a couple of fresh, marketable faces.

Therefore it’s even more peculiar that it has been so long since we’ve seen "Ultimate Fighter 23" winner Tatiana Suarez, who is finally stepping back into the Octagon on Nov. 11 against fellow unbeaten strawweight Viviane Pereira at UFC Fight Night 120 in Norfolk, VA.

Suarez is young, good on the mic, and a known finisher; it would appear that she has all the makings of a future headliner. After 15 months outside of the cage, Suarez spoke about what kept her away from the sport she loves.

“I asked for a fight a while back, but it was very difficult for them to find a matchup for me,” she says matter of factly. 

Furthermore, the 26-year-old California native states that she’s been looking for a fight since right after the UFC athlete retreat back in May.

Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Suarez seems to hold no ill will or place any blame as to why she didn’t get a fight. 

Some opponents said no, some women were held up with injuries, and the timing wasn’t right for others. Although this situation would likely get others down, Suarez used this as an opportunity to change up how she trained so she could avoid the injuries that originally initiated the layoff.

“I think there’s pros and cons to everything, and it’s also your mindset,” she says. “I think it was a good thing for me, because I had to take a step back and reevaluate the way that I train — to be smart with my training partners.”

While the technical aspects of Suarez’s training were on point, her ability to speak up needed improvement. Like many lighter weight fighters, Suarez sometimes finds it hard to find training partners of her size and skill level, leading to odd matchups.

“Sometimes the size difference is extreme,” she says with a laugh. “I walk around at 130 (pounds) and sometimes I spar with someone who is 200 pounds.”

And it’s in those matchups that she had to learn to tell her training partners when the strikes become a little too much for a sparring session.

“Even if I’m checking your kick, because you’re so big, it’s messing my leg up,” Suarez explains.

She attributes her wrestler mentality as to why she wasn’t saying anything in the first place, despite realizing the damage it was doing.  

“In wrestling you get matched up and you’re never like ‘Oh, you’re going too hard,'” she says. “In the fight world, it’s a little different because you’re actually striking someone.”

Speaking up has become important as she rotates through her mostly all-male, much larger cast of training partners.

“I would let it happen and that’s probably why I got hurt,” she admits.

With her new focus on being injury free, she hopes to continue the run and stay busy after her fight with Pereira.  


Watch: Touching Backstage UFC 220 Footage Featuring Volkan Oezdemir

Screenshot via Anatomy of a Fighter/YouTube Volkan-Oezdemir-UFC-220-Greg-Jones-MMA

Volkan Oezdemir lost to Daniel Cormier in the co-main event at UFC 220, but it didn't take long for the 28-year-old challenger to get back to the drawing board. 

Dana White: Robert Whittaker In 'Serious Condition' From Staph Infection

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Robert-Whittaker-UFC-MMA

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was recently pulled from his scheduled UFC 221 title defense vs. Luke Rockhold in Perth, Australia (h/t ESPN's Brett Okamoto). 

Bellator 192 Results: Chael Sonnen Advances, Rory MacDonald Wins Title

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports Chael-Sonnen-Bellator-192-MMA .jpg

Bellator 192 took place Saturday, Jan. 20, at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The event was headlined by the opening bout of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix between Chael Sonnen and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and a welterweight title fight between champion Douglas Lima and challenger Rory MacDonald. 

UFC 220 Results: Stipe Miocic Breaks UFC Record

FloSports/USA TODAY Sports Stipe-Miocic-Francis-Ngannou-MMA-UFC-220

In the main event of UFC 220, one of the most exciting heavyweight matchups in recent memory took place, with Stipe Miocic putting his title on the line against heavy-handed contender Francis Ngannou. 

UFC 220 Results: Daniel Cormier Stops Volkan Oezdemir

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Daniel-Cormier-UFC-220-MMA

The light heavyweight title was on the line in the co-main event of UFC 220 on Saturday night at TD Garden in Boston as Daniel Cormier went head-to-head with Volkan Oezdemir. 

Watch: Aaron Pico Scores Brutal Knockout At Bellator 192

Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports Aaron-Pico-MMA-Bellator

After a misstep to begin his professional career, top mixed martial arts prospect Aaron Pico has been proving that he deserves all of the hype he received leading up to his debut. 

Daniel Cormier Plans To Retire At 40: 'Not Many Guys Get To Go Out On Top'

Complex Daniel-Cormier-Shoes-Complex

Daniel Cormier may be entering the final year of his fighting career -- and he's completely OK with that.

FloCombat Doubleheader: Reasons To Watch Walkout FC 9, Mecca XI Muay Thai

Walkout FC Max-Humphrey-MMA-FloCombat-Walkout-FC

A hot-fire doubleheader comes to FloCombat on Saturday, Jan. 20, as Walkout FC 9 and Driller Promotions: Mecca XI Muay Thai stream live to your favorite device. 

UFC 220: Are We Forgetting Boop Master Volkan Oezdemir?

Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports Volkan-Oezdemir-UFC-MMA

Volkan Oezdemir is a forgotten man heading into Saturday's UFC 220 fight card in Boston. 

UFC 220: Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Weigh-In Results

FloSports/USA TODAY Sports Stipe-Miocic-Francis-Ngannou-MMA-UFC-220

The UFC 220 weigh-ins are underway, as Stipe Miocic, Francis Ngannou, Daniel Cormier, Volkan Oezdemir, and the rest of the crew hit the scales ahead of their Saturday-night showdown in Boston.