The UFC is back in the Music City! This weekend, the UFC comes to us live with a Fight Night from Nashville, Tennessee, and it is headlined by a huge fight between Cory “Sandman” Sandhagen and Rob Font. Those two are main eventing in what is sure to be a fight with huge implications for the UFC's bantamweight division. Here, though, we are breaking down the co-main event from the Music City – a strawweight collision between Jessica Andrade and Tatiana Suarez. Read on below to find our prediction for this huge co-main event!
Jessica Andrade: Desperately Seeking Return to Form
Jessica Andrade is on the wrong side of a losing streak – and needs to get off the track fast.
The former UFC strawweight champion has recently been on the end of two utterly dominant, hammering losses – to rising star Erin Blanchfield in February of this year, and also a brutal first round KO loss to Yan Xiaonan at UFC 288 in May. Prior to that, she was on a three fight winning streak, but that momentum and form has come to a very blunt stop. It is not the fact that Andrade has lost, but the dominant manner in which she has lost recently that is much more the cause for concern. A dominant submission loss followed by getting blown away in a knockout loss is not exactly the best way to go.
The UFC have not done Andrade any favours by putting her up against Suarez, the young, undefeated up-and-comer. Many have made the prediction that Andrade's losing skid will only continue after tonight, so she is going to have to pull off quite a huge upset in order to get the job done in Nashville.
Tatiana Suarez: Rising Star to Claim Biggest Scalp Yet?
Tatiana Suarez is a very highly respected young fighter, and is one of the biggest rising star in the next generation of women's MMA.
Having not fought since 2019, Suarez made her long awaited return after a four year absence from the UFC, choking out Montana De La Rosa. Whilst many have criticised Suarez for not giving the most convincing performance, the fact that she still pulled off a guillotine choke finish should be cause for concern for the rest of the strawweight division.
Suarez is firmly focused on climbing the ranks of the division fairly rapidly, and has Andrade firmly fixed in her sights. With how dominant Suarez has been in her early career, many have made the prediction that Suarez will make easy work of this fight tonight. Whether it turns out that way remains to be seen….
Jessica Andrade: Path to Victory – Finish, and Finish Early
Realistically, the path to victory for Jessica Andrade is fairly easy to predict.
Despite only being 5'1″, Jessica Andrade has extremely heavy hands. And she is very good at putting them to good effect. She is a true knockout artist, and that is realistically her one path to win this fight. Because she is significantly shorter (with a much shorter reach), she is going to have to get on the inside and try to do some damage early on, because if Tatiana Suarez is able to keep the range, then Andrade is not going to have a fun night at the office at all.
In short – if Jessica Andrade is to have any chance of winning this fight (and causing a huge upset in the process), then she needs to unsettle Suarez early and land something big. If she can do this, then she certainly has a chance. However, this matchup is a stylistic nightmare for Andrade, and it is very hard to see how she gets past Suarez.
Tatiana Suarez: Path to Victory – Dominate on the Ground
Tatiana Suarez is a very well-rounded fighter, and stylistically, she is the kryptonite to Jessica Andrade.
Suarez is an extremely well-rounded fighter, but her wrestling/ground game is truly exceptional. Even in her last outing against Montana De La Rosa, Suarez showed that her ground game skill has not diminished, and remains as strong as ever. Jessica Andrade has also shown (especially against Erin Blanchfield) that she is completely out-gunned if this fight gets to the ground, and especially if Tatiana Suarez can establish a dominant position on the top. If she does do this, then I can confidently make the prediction that Andrade will be completely overwhelmed.
Additionally, even if this fight does stay on the feet, Suarez enjoys a sizeable 3″ height advantage, as well as a 4″ reach advantage. Andrade absolutely has her work cut out for her just to try and put Suarez in trouble, and that's without considering the counter-threat of getting taken down repeatedly by Suarez.
Official Prediction: Suarez to Storm to Supremacy
Perhaps not surprisingly, I am predicting that Tatiana Suarez wins this fight, and picks up a huge scalp in the process.
The wrestling is just going to be far too much for Jessica Andrade. Valentina Shevchenko took her down at will. Erin Blanchfield completely dominated her on the ground. Combine both of those elements with Tatiana Suarez, and you have a whole heap of trouble. I predict that, following a pretty tense first round, Suarez will land that takedown against Andrade, and just impose her will on the ground. I think a rear naked choke follows pretty soon on from that, and Tatiana Suarez will continue to surge up the strawweight ranks.
Official prediction: Tatiana Suarez to win via second round submission.