UFC 228 Gets Strawweight Showdown: Carla Esparza vs Tatiana Suarez
Today the UFC officially announced a major fight in the women’s strawweight division for UFC 228. 6th ranked former champion Carla Esparza (13-5, 4-3 UFC) will take on rising contender Tatiana Suarez ( 6-0, 3-0 UFC) who is ranked 9th in the division.
Esparza was able to string together consecutive UFC wins for the first time in 2017. The inaugural strawweight champion won decisions over Maryna Moroz and Cynthia Calvillo but 2018 didn’t start as well. Unfortunately, she was unable to make it 3 in a row to start 2018, losing a closely contested split decision to Gadelha. In spite of the loss, Esparza showed improvements in her standup game. With a win over Suarez, Esparza would earn herself another crack at a top 5 opponent.
Suarez has been on an absolute tear to start her UFC career. The 2-time World Championship bronze medalist wrestler ran through the field on The Ultimate Fighter 23 and later became the season’s strawweight winner with a submission win over Amanda Cooper. She followed that with a dominant win over Vivane Pereira before her most impressive performance to date. In her first fight against a ranked opponent, Suarez made quick work of Alexa Grasso in May. The performance moved Suarez from exciting prospect to potential contender. A win over Esparza plants Suarez in the top 5 of the division only 7 fights into her UFC career.
UFC 228 will showcase some of the UFC’s most talented women. These two grapplers will add a high-level showdown to the card.