Morning Report: Tatiana Suarez believes Carla Esparza does not have the ‘branch’ to defeat Rose Namajunas. She is looking forward to summer’s return


Tatiana Suarez quickly became one of the most feared women on the UFC roster following her promotional debut in July 2016. Winning The Ultimate Fighter season 23 with a first-round d’arce choke against Amanda Brundage, Suarez progressed through the strawweight division smashing her way to a perfect 8-0 record.

In the first round, Suarez defeated Carla Esparza, the inaugural champion of the division, and won five straight to earn her second career opportunity at UFC gold. The loss was Esparza’s last and she’s since won five straight to earn her second career opportunity at UFC gold in a rematch at UFC 274 with the woman she won it against in Dec. 2014, Rose Namajunas.

“I think that Rose is gonna win,” Suarez told Helen Yee. I think Rose might be able to grapple better now that she was when they were first faced. I did face Carla, nothing against Carla, but I don’t feel like she has the strength. She wasn’t super strong when I faced her. I’ve never fought Rose so I can’t really compare the two but I do feel like I saw her grappling exchanges with Zhang [Weili] and she seemed like she made improvements and actually beat her in the grappling exchanges and that’s how she ended up winning. She’s definitely improved in this area, but she doesn’t have the technique or the strength. I think it might look similar to the Joanna [Jedrzejczyk] fight.”

For Suarez, she last stepped foot in the octagon when earning a unanimous decision win over Nina Nunes at UFC 238 in June 2019. Suffering from a neck injury that she went into the fight with, injuries have continued to plague the wrestling sensation.

A flyweight bout with Roxanne Modafferi was booked for UFC 266 in Sept. 2021. Unfortunately, Suarez injured her knee which led to her withdrawal and surgery. She is now eight months post-operation and is feeling good and healthy.

“I’m thinking the summer. Suarez stated that she hopes to be back in action by July. “I would like that. I’m just trying to test my knee out. It’s crazy that I have been grappling a lot lately. I hurt my knee grappling, so this was the best thing I could do for myself in terms of getting back to normal and possibly becoming weary. However, I have been grappling nearly every day. So I guess I’ve overcome that fear. I’m still a little bit reluctant and hesitant in certain situations but I’m feeling really good and the next step is just to do some sparring and see how it holds up during sparring. Then once I feel 100 percent confident, I’ll ask to book a fight.”

Suarez competed exclusively as a 125-pound flyweight before joining the UFC. Her idea for going back up specifically revolved around the idea of not wanting to have any focus put on weight cutting after the extended period away. Her hope was to maybe do a couple of fights there and go back down to 115 pounds when she felt comfortable enough.

Despite Suarez’s absence, she is confident that she will be the UFC’s second female champion of dual division.

“I think I have the skills to do it,” Suarez said. “I think people always say, ‘You have some of the best wrestling,’ or ‘You’re one of the best wrestlers out there. You could be one of the best.’ 100 percent without a doubt in my mind, I am the best wrestler in women’s MMA. In terms of my skill set, I think I can beat any wrestler in the sport. I think that is something that can get me two belts just because I’m far ahead in that discipline.”


Beef. Conor McGregor slams Henry Cejudo, a ‘little fat novice,’ after he has critiqued his workout.

Advice. Demetrious John says Brandon Moreno should not get too focused on the fourth Deiveson fight.

Frustration. Dricus Du Plessis rips Kelvin Gastelum for UFC 273 withdrawal: ‘He literally took food off my table.’

Persistence. Holly Holm is’super frustrated’ with a long period of inactivity due to injuries and health problems, but laughs off retirement rumors.

Rematch. Petr Yan responds to Aljamain Sterling’s ‘MMA Rulebook 4 Dummies’ jab: ‘He’s trying to earn the last big money of his life.’


UFC 273 Embedded.

Mackenzie Dern interview.

Paul Felder and Michael Chiesa preview UFC 273.

The DC Check-in with Khamzat Chimaev.

Jan Blachowicz previews Burns vs. Chimaev.

Bellator 277 Fighters You Should Be Watching.

Behind the Scenes: Angela Lee before & after Fighting Stamp Fairtex


Fighter vs. Writer. MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin talks to Alan Jouban.

Heck of an Afternoon. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck discusses whether or not Khamzat Chimaev leapfrogs Leon Edwards to a title fight with a UFC 273 win.


Ham’s coming for yet another title.


Paulo remains permanently on the one.



Give us just one more, Georges.

UFC 275 Hype.


Kayla Harrison (12-0) vs. Marina Mokhnatkina (6-2); PFL 2022 3, May 6

Ray Cooper III (24-7-1) vs. Magomed Umalatov (11-0); PFL 2022 3, May 6

Anthony Pettis (24-12) vs. Myles Price (11-7); PFL 2022 3, May 6

Rory MacDonald (22-8-1) vs. Brett Cooper (28-15); PFL 2022 3, May 6

Magomed Magomedkerimov (29-6) vs. Joao Zeferino (26-9); PFL 2022 3, May 6

Genah Fabian (4-2) vs. Julia Budd (16-3); PFL 2022 3, May 6


If Tatiana never returns, it will be one of MMA’s greatest “what if?” stories. Hopefully, she can come back when she wants to. Thanks for reading!


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