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Tatiana Suarez out of UFC 266, promotion seeks new opponent for Roxanne Modafferi

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UFC 238: Suarez v Ansaroff Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Tatiana Suarez’s comeback will have to wait a little bit longer.

The undefeated UFC strawweight standout and Ultimate Fighter 23 winner was set to return from an extended injury layoff in a flyweight fight against vet Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 266. But she was forced to withdraw from the pay-per-view event for undisclosed reasons, and the promotion now seeks a new opponent for Modafferi.

The news was first reported by ESPN Deportes’ Carlos Contreras Legaspi and confirmed to MMA Fighting by multiple people with knowledge of cancellation. UFC 266 takes place Sept. 25 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and is headlined by a duo of title fights: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega and Valentina Shevchenko vs. Lauren Murphy.

Suarez most recently fought in June 2019 when she earned her fifth straight UFC victory with a decision over Nina Nunes. But she battled a serious neck injury and was forced to the sidelines, halting a promising career at 115 pounds.

Outside the cage, Suarez kept busy with an appearance on the 16th season of ABC’s The Bachelorette, coaching eligible bachelors on the finer points of wrestling in a competition.

Modafferi, one of the most experienced female fighters in the UFC, has alternated between wins and losses in 8 bouts since coming up short for the inaugural flyweight title at the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter 26. Most recently, she was outpointed by Viviane Araujo at UFC Fight Island 8.