Still young in her career, Suarez (5-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) labeled new UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas as an inspiration. Following her dominant unanimous decision win over Pereira (13-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), Suarez said Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) had a long road of ups and downs before claiming the belt from Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and while she’s not exactly planning to have downs, she wants to enjoy the journey.
“I want to stay busy; that’s what I want to do,” Suarez told MMAjunkie after the win. “I want to face tough opponents and put in multiple battles. I want to earn my way to the top. I don’t want to just be like, ‘Mouth, mouth, mouth – I’m fighting for the title.’ I want to work for that. I want a journey to there. That’s what makes that win that much better.”
UFC Fight Night 120 took place at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. Suarez beat Pereira on the FS1-televised card following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
Although the fight was one-sided and even earned one 30-26 scorecard, Suarez wasn’t able to get a stoppage, as she had in the majority of her fights prior. She didn’t cite any ring rust after taking more than a year off following a win on “The Ultimate Fighter 23;” she just said her Brazilian foe was tough.
“I knew she was going to be a tough opponent, and that’s what my coaches were telling me before the fight,” Suarez said. “It pushes you; it shows you how much you have. She was tough to put away, and give me five more seconds in the last round and I would have finished her, but I’m really excited. I’m proud of my performance, especially after a long layoff.”
With plans to take the scenic route to the belt, the 26-year-old said she’s willing to take on all comers in her weight class. She believes she proved herself in a big way against Pereira, and is ready to do that again against another tough opponent.
“Whatever the UFC gives me, I’ll take it,” Suarez said. “That girl was 13-0 and when they gave me her name I said yes. I’m not scared to put myself out there. You’ve got to take chances in order – you’ll never know unless you put yourself out there.”
To hear more from Suarez, check out the video above.
- UFC-Norfolk winner Sean Strickland doesn't feel bad after draw flipped in his favor
- Jake Collier looking for some momentum, and wants it at home at UFC-St. Louis
- Michael Bisping opens as underdog to Kelvin Gastelum in UFC-Shanghai headliner
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Back from long layoff, Tatiana Suarez wants to take scenic route to UFC title