Tatiana Suarez was set to face Amanda Lemos in a pivotal fight on Feb 17th at UFC 298. But, just as has happened a frustrating amount of times before in Suarez’s career, injuries have derailed her plans. This time, specifically, a new knee injury (on her birthday) has forced her to pull out of the match. There is no set date for her return.
Apparently, swelling was a large culprit when it came to her knee injury that occurred during practice. While making an appearance on The MMA Hour, Suarez said, “I had to have my knee drained and there was like 400 [cubic centimeters] of fluid inside my knee, and you’re only supposed to have like three [cubic centimeters] of fluid. So it was quite a bit. And they had given me some stem cells and my knee reacted badly to the stem cells, so then that took some more time.”
That hindered her training. She went on to say, “I couldn’t grapple, I couldn’t wrestle. Usually, if I could do one aspect of the sport hard, whether it’s just striking or wrestling or jiu-jitsu, I’ll just fight.” Suarez added, “I’m not a stranger to fighting through injuries and stuff like that. But when I can’t train at all and go hard, then I just won’t go through it.”
Suarez, 33, is a former Olympic wrestling hopeful, widely considered one of the most talented female fighters active today. Her career, however, has been riddled by injuries, from her time as a wrestler to her UFC days. The worst of those are the injuries that kept her away from the sport for four years – from June 2019 to February 2023.
First, it was a neck injury, something that is dangerous within the fighting world. Then, after a two-year recovery process for disc issues and bone spurs, Suarez was poised to make her return in 2021. Which is when she tore her ACL, LCL, MCL, and meniscus during training.
That was four years ago.
After her return, Suarez managed back-to-back wins over Montana De La Rosa and Jessica Andrade, sparking hopes that this comeback would be definitive. But then this new injury to her knee happened. But at least there’s the hope that if there’s anyone who knows how to overcome, it’s Suarez.
An HBO documentary, titled The Unbreakable Tatiana Suarez, chronicled Suarez’s journey of overcoming injury and returning to the ring after her four-year injury layoff. The documentary is now available to stream on Max.