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The Female Khabib

It took a while after the Esparza fight but the UFC eventually found Tatiana Suarez an opponent. Nina Ansaroff, the partner of the UFC’s first female double champ, will be the next to try and give Suarez her first MMA loss at UFC 238. Being the featured prelim fight on ESPN will introduce Suarez and Ansaroff to a huge new fan base and the winner could be next in line for a title shot. On paper, the undefeated Suarez has a significant edge over the 10-5 Ansaroff. has Suarez anywhere from a -714 to -1000 favorite. The only fight on the card with a bigger underdog than Ansaroff is Jessica Eye, with Valentina Shevchenko anywhere from a -1000 to -1250 favorite.

A post shared by Tatiana Suarez Padilla (@tatianasuarezufc) on May 20, 2019 at 3:01pm PDT

Ansaroff’s last fight was a moderately significant upset victory against a particularly tough Claudia Gadelha, winning by unanimous decision. She’s currently on a 4 fight win streak and has immensely developed since her last loss to Justine Kish in 2016. So why such the huge disparity with the odds? Is Suarez really THAT good? The general consensus is yes, she is that good. Suarez has mauled everybody in her path with her relentless wrestling, earning her the fan-generated nickname “The Female Khabib”. Her chain wrestling is on another level compared to anybody else at 115. Her remarkable strength resembles a bantamweight throwing around Strawweights when she fights. Her last opponent, Carla Esparza, who’s recognized for her strong college wrestling background seemed lost against Suarez. For many MMA fans that fight absolutely highlighted how domineering her wrestling is.

A post shared by Tatiana Suarez Padilla (@tatianasuarezufc) on Apr 30, 2019 at 10:55am PDT

Tatiana started wrestling when she was only 3 years old in 1993, the same year the UFC was born. By age 15 she was competing at a world-class level in freestyle and dominating the folkstyle scene in high school. She was the 2007 & 2008 ASICS National High School Wrestler of the Year. Additionally, she was the 2010 World Team Trials champion and U.S. Open champion. In 2011 she was the #1 ranked freestyle wrestler at 55kg in the USA. Unfortunately, in 2012, her Olympic dreams were overwhelmed by a neck injury. To add insult to injury, an MRI and CAT scan revealed thyroid cancer. Providentially, she was able to get the proper treatments and surgeries to get cured and was able to start training again. However, instead of going back to wrestling, Suarez decided to start her career in MMA.

A post shared by Tatiana Suarez Padilla (@tatianasuarezufc) on May 13, 2019 at 11:10am PDT

Suarez made her amateur MMA debut in February of 2014, winning by 1st round TKO. Her talent was recognized immediately and her first professional fight was only 5 months later in July of 2014, which she won by unanimous decision. It only took 3 pro fights to be noticed by the UFC and Suarez secured a spot on TUF 23. Suarez was Claudia Gadelha’s #1 pick and she performed as well as her coach expected, submitting all of her opponents in route to winning the show. Suarez is now 4-0 in the UFC with 3 finishes and to my knowledge has not lost a single round in her pro career.

Outside of the cage, it’s hard to guess Tatiana is a world class MMA fighter who demolishes opponents with hyper-aggressive, relentless grappling. She’s extremely humble, always seems to have a smile on her face and has an infectiously positive attitude. She doesn’t get caught up in trash talk yet has supreme confidence in her abilities. When asked she isn’t afraid to give honest assessments of upcoming or potential opponents but always stays respectful. Rumor is many people have turned down fighting her, which reminds me of a young Khabib as much as her skill set.

A post shared by Tatiana Suarez Padilla (@tatianasuarezufc) on Sep 10, 2018 at 7:46pm PDT

Many believe Suarez will become the UFC’s strawweight champion and some think that time is not very far away. If she has another dominant victory at UFC 238 she will be in a very strong position to challenge the newly crowned champion, Jessica Andrade. When asked Andrade admitted Suarez is probably the toughest matchup for her. Andrade also recently stated she feels obligated to give Rose an immediate rematch. She even went as far to say she would like the fight in Denver since Rose was willing to come to Brazil. While this is a very admirable I think the UFC needs to stop giving so many immediate rematches for champions who just lost their belt, especially champions who’ve only defended once or twice before losing the belt. If Suarez moves to 8-0 it’s my opinion she should be next in line for Andrade and I’m certain many would agree.

Jason Marlowe, UnknownMMA

Watch Tatiana Suarez’ interview with Unknown MMA on The Unknown Room on YouTube:

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