At UFC 238 in 2019 Tatiana Suarez beat Nina Nunes to take her pro record to 8-0. That win was her fifth in the UFC and followed a TKO stoppage of former champion Carla Esparza.
Suarez has been on the sidelines since then due to a serious neck injury. It had appeared as though Suarez would make her return to the cage at UFC 266 which is scheduled for September 25. There she was expected to face fan favourite Roxanne Modafferi.
However, according to Carlos Contreras Legaspi of ESPN Deportes, Suarez has been forced to withdraw from the bout due to injury. Conteras Legaspi reported that the UFC would seek to reschedule Suarez vs. Modafferi. However, MMA Fighting reports that the UFC are now seeking to keep ‘The Happy Warrior’ on the card and find her a new opponent.
After news broke of Suarez’s withdrawal, the fighter herself took to Instagram to share an update. She revealed that she had suffered a “very bad knee injury.”
“I can’t believe this is my reality, but it is,” she said. “And when they do a story on me, it’s going to be the most kickass story out there. I’m going to make my comeback, it’s going to be amazing. And I can’t wait for it. I’m going to stay positive. I’m going to remain positive. I know that this is going to be hard. Injuries are always hard, mentally more than physically, but I can do it. And with your support... it makes it a lot easier.”
Suarez joined the cast of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Joanna vs. Team Claudia in 2016. She breezed through the women’s strawweight bracket on that show, submitting each of her opponents including Amanda Cooper in the series finale.
Her performance on the show left many to think that Suarez was one of the best prospects in MMA at the time and a fighter destined to fight for a UFC title.
Her following fights did nothing to dissuade that as she defeated veterans Viviane Pereira, Alexa Grasso, Carla Esparza and eventually Nina Nunes.
With most major knee injuries ruling athletes out for over a year, it could be some time before we see the 30 year old back in the Octagon.