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UFC 238 results: Tatiana Suarez survives late surge to earn decision win over Nina Ansaroff

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Tatiana Suarez had to survive a tough third round to get past Nina Ansaroff and now she’s gunning for gold in the UFC strawweight division.

The dominating wrestler put her grappling on display through the first 10 minutes and then survived a late surge from Ansaroff to get the job done with 29-28 scores from all three judges giving her the unanimous decision victory. After moving to 8-0 in her career, Suarez wasted no time turning her attention to reigning 115-pound champion Jessica Andrade.

“I think you know who I want to fight next and it’s the champion,” Suarez said following her latest win. “I think she’s a great fighter. I respect all the champs. They’ve worked their butt off but I think I deserve my shot next. I think it’s a long time coming and I just want to see that belt around my waist.”

As expected, Suarez wasted no time rushing forward and planting Ansaroff on the mat almost immediately as she began pressuring with her suffocating top control. While Ansaroff was able to resist taking much damage on the ground, she still spent a ton of time trying to fend off the wrestling attacks without finding any breathing room to unleash any kind of real offense of her own.

Suarez was relentless while pressuring forward and even when she didn’t get the takedown, the former Olympic hopeful had Ansaroff pinned against the cage without much hope for an escape.

With five minutes remaining, Ansaroff was finally able to shrug off a pair of attempts from Suarez to drag her to the mat but she was still couldn’t really do much damage to potentially get a finish after losing the first two rounds.

Ansaroff continued to hunt for power striking combinations and she began landing with more regularity including a right hand that definitely put Suarez on her heels but not enough to knock her down. As strong as Ansaroff was during the final round, she couldn’t put Suarez away and that ultimately cost her the fight.

When it was over, Suarez paid homage to Ansaroff and her coaching staff for a well scouted game plan that pushed her further than any past opponent she’s faced in the UFC.

“It was a tough fight. She’s a warrior. I’m just really grateful to share the cage with her. She’s an amazing fighter,” Suarez said.

“She fought the exact fight that really didn’t allow me to get my ground and pound in and any submissions. It’s like they knew they were there my entire camp. Amazing coaches.”

Now Suarez begins the waiting game to find out if she will get her wish for a championship fight following Andrade claiming the title with a stunning slam knockout against Rose Namajunas back in May.

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