Since winning season 23 of The Ultimate Fighter, Tatiana Suarez has been forced to sit on the sidelines due to injury as the strawweight division continued to progress.
After a year and a half hiatus, she is set to return at UFC Norfolk and will take on undefeated Brazilian prospect, Viviane Pereira.
Suarez was set to make her first UFC appearance since winning the show versus Julianna Lima back in December but had to pull out due to an arm injury. She underwent surgery on her right arm and has been on the road to recovery since. She will finally make her long awaited return this November 11th in her toughest test to date.
“I think Viviane is a very strong and experienced opponent her record reflects that,” Suarez said. “I have seen her fight both times. I was impressed by her boxing techniques.”
“I feel like she is most dangerous standing up. I haven’t seen her on the canvas too much. But, she’s a mixed martial artist so I assume she knows what she is doing. We just haven’t seen much of it from her.”
Coming off so much momentum from winning the Ultimate Fighter, Suarez’s hype was momentarily put to a halt due to the time away. When asked about any potential ring rust, the 4-0 Suarez feels the time off did her more good than bad.
“I feel very strong and I feel like I’m ready to get back in the octagon,” Suarez said. “Of course, injuries present a challenge for every athlete but I truly feel it also helped me address some issues I had with my training sessions. So I’m grateful for the challenge and I feel it has helped my career.”
Suarez, who is no stranger to adversity, has already gone through many ups and downs in her young career. Her successful wrestling career and Olympic aspirations came to an end when she found out she had thyroid cancer. Not only did she beat cancer, she made her way to the UFC octagon, conquering one battle after the other.
“I feel like my hardships have forged me into a “no quit” “no stop” type of fighter. In my opinion those are the most troubling fighters to come across because it tires people out.”
During her most recent recovery process, she was able to keep herself busy outside of the octagon. She made numerous appearances on UFC Now alongside Karyn Bryant, Michael Bisping and Kenny Florian, breaking down her fellow fighters and techniques.
“Yes I did some work with UFC Now,” Suarez said. “I live an hour away from where they film so they gave me a call and asked if I’d like to try it out. I truly enjoyed doing the segment. I hope I can do some more stuff like that in the future.”
She’s been keeping a close eye on the strawweight division and is hoping that a win over Pereira will move her one step closer to the top of the division.
“I feel like the strawweight division is competitive but I feel I will be a contender soon to come. The key is to stay healthy and hopefully the UFC keeps me busy.”
Current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who has successfully defended her strawweight title 5 times is rumoured to be fighting Rose Namajunas next. While so many fighters have failed to take the champion out, Suarez believes that they didn’t have enough tools to beat Joanna.
“I feel many have failed against her because they weren’t well rounded,” Suarez explained. “I feel that the only person she faced that was well rounded was Claudia Gadelha and she lost because her cardio gave out the last few rounds. But, in a three round fight I believe Claudia would beat her.”
“I feel like Rose is a tough competitor. I think she could get the job done. I guess we will find out, right?”
For now, Suarez is fully focused on the fellow undefeated Viviane Pereira and is confident she will get the job done in Norfolk.
“I see my hand being raised and I’m going to get it done using a well rounded nonstop type of fight.”
Conor McGregor Charged with Assault for Dublin Incident
Former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor has been charged with assault for punching a man in a bar in Dublin, Ireland back in April, that carries a maximum prison term of six months if convicted, a fine of $1,646, or both, according to the Independent.
McGregor’s spokesperson Karen Kessler confirmed that McGregor was formally served with a summons and is due in a Dublin court on October 11th, in a conversation with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
McGregor expressed remorse for the incident back in August, during an interview with ESPN.
“I was in the wrong,” McGregor said, at the time. “That man deserved to enjoy his time in the pub without having it end the way it did. … I tried to make amends, and I made amends back then. But it doesn’t matter. I was in the wrong. I must come here before you and take accountability and take responsibility. I owe it to the people that have been supporting me. I owe it to my mother, my father, my family. I owe it to the people who trained me in martial arts. That’s not who I am. That’s not the reason why I got into martial arts or studying combat sports. The reason I got into it was to defend against that type of scenario.”
“I must get my head screwed on and just get back in the game and fight for redemption, retribution, respect — the things that made me the man I am,” McGregor continued. “And that’s what I will do.”
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UFC’s Stipe Miocic Likely Out for Year
UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic is considered to be “highly unlikely” to compete again for the remainder of 2019 after the fighter suffered an eye injury during his fight with Daniel Cormier back in August, Miocic’s agent said, according to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
Miocic (19-3) knocked out Cormier to reclaim the heavyweight title during the fourth round of their rematch at UFC 241, and there had been interest in a 3rd fight between Cormier and Miocic, potentially taking place at UFC 245 on December 14th in Las Vegas, however Miocic says that he is still recovering from a procedure that was done on his retina.
“I’ll be ready to fight when I can see out of both eyes again,” Miocic said in a statement to ESPN. “I can’t wait to defend my belt.”
According to Miocic’s agent, Jim Walter, the eye injury occurred when Cormier accidentally poked Miocic in the eye during the fight at UFC 241.
Miocic had complained of eye pokes during both of his fights against Cormier.
“Mr. Miocic sustained a major retina injury from multiple eye pokes during his bout at UFC 241,” said Walter, of Kaulig Sports and Entertainment. “Our client’s health and safety is our top priority. We are excited for him to return to action when he is healthy to compete in his seventh consecutive world title fight.”
Cormier, 40, recently stated his desire to put off retirement to fight Miocic a third time.
“I’m gonna fight this guy again,” Cormier said during an appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show earlier this week. “My intention is to fight him in the right way. … It has to be against Stipe, no one else matters.”
Dana White: BJ Penn Won’t Fight in UFC Again
UFC president Dana White says that BJ Penn won’t be fighting in the UFC again after a pair of videos surfaced online showing Penn fighting in the streets while in Hawaii.
Penn (16-14-2), 40, was expected to fight Nik Lentz before the end of the year, but White says that plans to make that fight happen are now off following the videos going viral.
“He won’t fight again, that’s it,” White said, according to Brett Okamoto. “That’s a wrap. It’s not even that this was the last straw. I didn’t love him continuing to fight anyway, but with the relationship that he and I have — he gets me on the phone, begging me for another fight. It’s hard to turn him down.
“After what I saw in that video, BJ needs to, you know, he needs to focus on his personal life before he thinks about fighting.”
Penn, who will not face any charges for the incidents, and his representatives have since said he was trying to diffuse the situation and ultimately acted in self-defense.
“I don’t want to sit here and pick BJ Penn apart,” White said. “I think we all know what BJ Penn needs to do and hopefully BJ Penn knows what BJ Penn needs to do. What I saw in that video was sad and I love the kid. I hope he gets his life together. If BJ Penn needs me, all he has to do is pick up the phone and ask.”
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