UFC: Tatiana Suarez medically cleared and targeting September return

One of the top women’s prospects in the UFC is getting ready to make her return. After more than two years away from the octagon, Tatiana Suarez (8-0) has been cleared to make her UFC return.

Before a string of injuries, Suarez was being looked at as a future champion. The 30 year old last competed at UFC 238 when she defeated Nina Nunes by Unanimous Decision.

Prior that that win, Suarez had stoppage victories over Alexa Grasso and former UFC champion Carla Esparza. She was one of the top strawweights in the world prior to a string of bad luck and injuries.

After her last fight, Suarez had been dealing with a recurring bulging disc in her neck. This is the main thing that kept her out for over a year and a half. She was then cleared to resume training back in February.

However, the top UFC prospect then suffered a concussion and broke her hand while wrestling with her boyfriend. These injuries further delayed the return of Suarez.

However, Suarez told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani today that she’s been cleared and she’s targeting a September return. Suarez also told Helwani that she will be switching weight classes upon her UFC return.

New UFC Flyweight

The top contender said that she would be moving up to flyweight when she makes her UFC return. Suarez said, “Maybe if I’m not cutting too much weight at all, I’ll be a little more stronger and explosive.”

This is a welcomed addition to the flyweight division assuming all goes well with her UFC return. Suarez is truly one of the better female fighters in the world when she is at her base and the flyweight division needs new contenders.

Valentina Shevchenko (21-3) has completely dominated the division with no challenges. Suarez could provide a strong challenge to the queen and that is something that Suarez is already thinking about.

“I do think I have a good skill set in terms of my wrestling that can give her (Shevchenko) trouble,” Suarez said.

After UFC Vegas 10 win, what’s next for Michelle Waterson?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 10, The Karate Hottie Michelle Waterson (18-8) snapped her two fight losing streak in an absolute war with Angela Hill (12-9). Waterson struggled early, but really came on strong and won the final three rounds.

With the victory, Waterson has her eyes set on the UFC strawweight title. For the past few years, she’s talked about her desire to be the first mom champ in the UFC. She said in her post-fight interview that she wants to fight someone that gets her closer to the title.

Waterson’s next step towards UFC gold

In looking at the rankings, it’s really tough to figure out what’s next inside the UFC for Waterson. I don’t see Nina Ansaroff, Carla Esparza, or Joanna Jedrzejczyk being options for Waterson. Ansaroff is getting ready to have a baby while Waterson just lost to the other two.

That being said, I think there are two potential UFC matchups for Waterson. The promotion could throw her right into the deep end against Tatiana Suarez (8-0) when Suarez is ready to return from action. Suarez hasn’t fought in over a year due to lingering neck injuries.

If that fight were to come together and Waterson were to win, she’d likely get a title shot. I think a more realistic option would be for Waterson to fight the winner of the Claudia Gadelha – Yan Xiaonan fight that has been rescheduled for November.

Whoever wins that fight will likely be ready to make the jump into or for the top five in the UFC‘s strawweight rankings. I think a matchup between Waterson and the winner could be the best and most realistic next step in Waterson’s journey to become the UFC‘s first mom champ.