Las Vegas, NV — An upbeat Tatiana Suarez addressed the media following her victory over Montana De La Rosa at UFC Vegas 70 — and looked ahead to what comes next.
It’s been a while since there was a “next” for Suarez (9-0) to look forward two. After over three years on the sidelines, Suarez finally made her return on Saturday, and picked up right where she left off with a guillotine choke submission.
Now, it’s on to future opponents. Two ex-champs in particular are out there, Carla Esparza and Rose Namajunas. Suarez has interest in only one of them, mind you.
“I don’t think anybody wants to see me fight Carla again,” Suarez told media outlets including Cageside Press. She defeated Esparez in a 2018 match-up at UFC 228. “Let’s be real. I would catch a case twice. No, we’re not doing that. Not saying she hasn’t improved, but I just think that, you saw the first fight. I don’t even think there would even be anything different in a second fight with Carla. So let’s just not do that one.”
Namajunas is a different story, but ultimately, Suarez just wants to fight the best. “I want to fight all the best people. I’m not scared to fight the best people, because that means I’m the best. So I would love to fight somebody like Rose. She’s an amazing striker, she’s an amazing martial artist, she too has overcome a lot of things in her life, and I respect her as a person,” Suarez explained. “So when I say that I want to fight them, it’s really not disrespect, I’m not trying to disrespect them. I want to fight all the great people. It’s out of respect that I want to do that. I feel like it’s an honor to share the cage with somebody.”
“Yeah, I’m just excited, I would like to fight somebody like Rose, or whoever they give me,” she finished.
Ahead of her return, Suarez had the expected amount of nerves — but they dissipated once she entered the cage.
“There was a range of emotions. At first, I was getting nervous. It fluctuates. You get nervous, then you’re like ‘no, it’s fine, it’s fine.’ I’m like, ‘wait, is that normal, should I not be nervous?’ And then you’re like ‘wait should I be nervous?'”
“So at first I felt a little nervous, and it’s so weird, when I get in the cage, my nerves just completely go away, it’s the weirdest thing,” she continued. “And I have these crazy, crazy talks with myself when I’m by myself, and I’m walking back-and-forth pacing like a tiger, having these conversations with myself then I get out there, and I’m good.”
Performing under pressure is something Suarez has already excelled at, however.
“I think for me, growing up, I put a lot of pressure on myself. I was a wrestler, I competed a lot, I wanted to be an Olympic champion from a young age. When you have a goal like that in your mind, you have to put a lot of pressure on yourself throughout your life. I think for me, when I put pressure on myself, I excel.” And so, she added, every single day, regardless of the activity, “I put pressure on myself, so that when I get in the octagon, that pressure is more comfortable to me.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 70 post-fight media appearance by Tatiana Suarez above.