UFC strawweight Marina Rodriguez wasted no time thinking about who could be her next opponent after beating Michelle Waterson-Gomez via TKO at UFC Vegas 79. Still inside the Octagon, the Brazilian said exactly who she wants to take on next, in her post-fight interview: none other than undefeated contender Tatiana Suarez.
Marina Rodriguez called out Tatiana Suarez at UFC Vegas 79
“I would like to call out Tatiana Suarez. I think I deserve the chance to prove myself. I think she still needs some fights before a title shot”. Rodriguez said (transcribed by MMA Fighting)
Rodriguez has signed a new UFC contract
While Marina Rodriguez awaits the UFC’s next matchmaking decision for her career, the Brazilian explained to Ag Fight what led her to call out Tatiana Suarez. Since she has just signed a new contract with the promotion, Rodriguez figures it may be time to start out calling out the athletes that could get the Brazilian closer to her personal goals.
“I have a new UFC contract, so I have some new shots to take and I have decided that I want to take the right ones. In order not to leave this up to other people, I picked one of the best fighters. If I beat her, I think I can push myself closer to the title. That’s what I have to do. I have to fight now and ask for the best. This is the right moment for me to do this. I asked for Tatiana, we’ll see if the UFC gives me that.”
Rodriguez is confident she could outgrapple Suarez
Though Suarez is famous for her wrestling and submission skills, while Marina Rodriguez herself is a known striker, the Brazilian does not feel too worried about going to the mat, if she must. In the same interview, she tells Ag Fight that her ground skills have evolved over that years and she could even surprise Suarez with a submission of her own.
“She’s all about the grappling. I’d have to work on my grappling in order to be able to hang with her. The strategy would be to go for knockout, though. Not let her grapple. It’s hard, but if she grapples, I’ll be fine, too. I’ve really evolved in my grappling game, so, who knows? I could even score a submission. I know she’s tough, I know she really wants to get to the belt, but if they give the opportunity, I think I can put on an excellent fight to see who can make it to the title fight right now.”
Both athletes have scored impressive wins recently
The win over Waterson-Gomez helped Marina Rodriguez (17-3-2) snap a two-fight losing skid, with a unanimous decision loss to Virna Jandiroba and a TKO one to Amanda Lemos, respectively in May 2023 and November 2022.
Meanwhile, Tatiana Suarez (10-0) has finally resumed her career after an almost four-year layoff, that had the 32-year-old sidelined since June 2019. Regardless, the wrestler came back and has already put on a couple of impressive performances, finishing both Montana De La Rosa and former champion Jessica Andrade with guillotine chokes, in February and August of this year.
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