Tatiana Suarez announced herself as a true title contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s women’s strawweight division last weekend at UFC 228 with her dominant victory over the division’s inaugural champion, Carla Esparza. The undefeated 27-year-old (7-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) never looked in danger as she cruised to victory over “Cookie Monster,” eventually finishing her in the third round.
Suarez is closer than ever of landing a shot at the title and during a recent interview on the Top Turtle Podcast, she was asked if the current champion Rose Namajunas could handle her wrestling skills.
“No,” Suarez said, laughing. “I think I’ll do the same thing I did to Esparza—I’ll do the same thing to Rose. It actually might be worse because Rose isn’t nearly as good of a wrestler as Esparza. She’s longer, but that’s about it. We saw what Esparza did to Rose, and I think I’m the best wrestler in the division.”
Some fans have been critical of Suarez, claiming she only wins because of the size difference between her and her opponents. On Twitter, Suarez defended her style, maintaining that her ability to control her opponents is due more to technique than to any size advantage.
People are so funny. Constantly putting me down. Every time I win it’s because I’m way bigger than every1 in my division. It has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve wrestled since I was 3yrs old or the fact that I work my ass off every day to be successful at my craft.— Tatiana Suarez (@TSPMMA115) September 12, 2018
“I think [people in my division] know how to shoot, they’re powerful—like Claudia [Gadelha] and [Jessica] Andrade,” Suarez said. “There’s a difference between knowing how to shoot and actually knowing how to wrestle. I know how to wrestle.”