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Khabib Nurmagomedov of strawweight? UFC Chile winner Tatiana Suarez likes the comparison

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As far as comparisons go, Tatiana Suarez will happily take this one.

After all, who wouldn’t want to be compared to a current UFC champion, an undefeated pound-for-pound great, and one of the best wrestlers in the sport?

So, after scoring a first-round rear-naked choke victory over fellow strawweight Alexa Grasso (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 129 co-headliner, Suarez (6-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) told FS1 post-show host Laura Sanko she’ll gladly accept comparisons to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (26-0 MMA, 10-0 UFC).

“I love that comparison because I’m a huge fan of his,” said “The Ultimate Fighter 23” winner – a 27-year-old onetime Olympic hopeful who ultimately transitioned from amateur wrestling to pro MMA in 2014.

Suarez, who entered UFC Fight Night 129 as the No. 12 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA women’s strawweight rankings, is now 6-0 as a pro, and if you include her successful “TUF 23” run, she’s 9-0 with six stoppages. Five of those wins have come via submission – thanks in large part to the type of dominant wrestling Nurmagomedov has used to now rule the 155-pound division.

“I really base a lot of my wrist-riding and stuff off of him,” Suarez said. “I do a lot of that in practice. And actually that’s what happened.”

You know – the fight-ending choke that forced one of the UFC’s prized 115-pound prospects to tap out.

“I went for the wrist ride, and she turned her back to me, and I took her back off of it,” she said. “So, yeah – thank you, Khabib, for that.”

With a crucial co-main event win, Suarez now hopes for more high-profile opportunities like the one she got on Saturday – one that kept her on a main card and off the prelims.

“I’m blessed to be here,” she said. “I’m living my dreams out, and not many people say they can do that.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 129, check out the UFC Events section of the site.



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