Former Olympic wrestling hopeful Tatiana Suarez has taken the UFC’s women’s strawweight division by storm.
With an undefeated record of 8-0, Suarez has dominated most of her opposition inside the Octagon, in large part due to her phenomenal wrestling ability. In fact, Suarez has received comparisons to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, earning the nickname, “Female Khabib.”
In her last outing, and her most competitive, Suarez took a unanimous decision win over Nina Ansaroff. Unfortunately, the fight aggravated a pre-fight neck injury, which has resulted in a lengthy sit from competition. Speaking to The Score in a recent interview, Suarez revealed the injury affected her C4, C5, C6, C7, and T1 vertebrae. (H/T MMA Junkie)
“Basically, I had a cortisone shot,” Suarez said. “Then I had stem cells injected, as well. For a while, it felt worse after the injection. It’s probably because they put a needle inside my spine. It felt horrible for a while, but it’s getting better.”
While the injections and physical therapy are helping, Suarez still doesn’t feel like she’s at where she needs to be physically to fight again. She anticipates another cortisone shot in the next month.
“I definitely feel like it’s getting better, (but) I definitely noticed that I probably need to get another cortisone shot,” Suarez said. “We’re going to do another MRI, but the last one showed it wasn’t cleared yet. My nerve wasn’t cleared yet.
“So what they want to do is give it some time.. .. We’re going to do an MRI first, and if it’s not clear, we’re going to do another shot – probably, next month.”
With an injury as risky as a neck injury, Suarez doesn’t want to rush things, in fear that she’ll re-aggravate it, causing even more detrimental effects to her career, long-term.
“Of course I want to get in there and fight,” Suarez said. “I just think it’s not very wise to jump in. With this type of injury, if I hurt it again? I just don’t want to re-aggravate it and start the healing process all over again. I think a lot of times people do that. They want to jump in there, and then they re-injure themselves. Then, instead of being out nine months or something, they’re out two years.”
After her win over Ansaroff, many believed Suarez had finally punched her ticket to a title fight. Of course, those plans went up in smoke due to her current injury. She’ll likely need another win or two before getting back into the title mix. However, Suarez isn’t worried about this, as she says she was never in a big rush to get to the title anyway.
“I’m kind of like, whatever,” Suarez said. “I’ve never been in a rush to fight for the title or anything like that. Basically when people ask me about that, I’m like, ‘My time will come, and when it comes, I’m going to take full advantage.’ That’s still my attitude. I did believe if I was healthy after my last fight, I could have potentially got the title shot.
“Because I wasn’t, that (has) obviously passed. But the division is moving, so I’m not sitting here saying that I’m going to jump the line ahead of other people that I believe deserve to be fighting for the title. I know there’s a lot of girls gunning for the title. So whoever I need to beat, that’s fine. I’ll fight them. Then, onto the next one after that.”
Who do you think Suarez should fight upon her return to the Octagon?
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