Tatiana Suarez Open To Potential Karolina Kowalkiewicz Fight Next

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Tatiana Suarez
Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey USA TODAY Sports

There’s an interesting race going on right now for a UFC strawweight title opportunity.

At UFC 228 this past weekend, Jessica Andrade shut out Karolina Kowalkiewicz with a first-round knockout in the co-main event. The Brazilian expressed her desire to challenge Rose Namajunas for the 115-pound strap next.

Another woman with a claim to the next title shot is former Ultimate Fighter winner Tatiana Suarez. She made quite the statement Saturday night with a third round TKO win over former women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza.

Suarez dominated Esparza in the wrestling department and battered her with ground-and-pound. In the third round, she did enough for the referee to call the action off.

Should Andrade get the title nod before her, however, Suarez tells MMA Junkie she’s okay with a fight against Karolina Kowalkiewicz first:

“It’s up to the UFC, but I feel like (I could deserve a title shot) after a performance like that, against a former champion,” Suarez said.

“(Esparza) beat Rose in a dominant fashion, I beat (Esparza) in a dominant fashion. But if (Namajunas is) not who they give me, I’ll take whoever loses (between Andrade and Kowalkiewicz). Whoever wins that fight is probably going to get a title shot.

“I’ll go ahead and dominate (the loser), and then I’ll get my title shot.”

Suarez currently holds an undefeated record of 7-0. In that time she has finished five of those fights via either knockout or submission.

The 27-year-old has really impressed the MMA community with her ability, drawing comparisons to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov for her dominant grappling ability.