Tatiana Suarez is looking to continue her unbeaten streak against Montana De La Rosa at UFC Vegas 70 in a recent move to flyweight. This is after a long three-year layoff from what was originally a neck injury in 2019 as well as a knee injury in 2023.
Nonetheless, Suarez is surely looking to make a statement against the always-game Montana De La Rosa in her comeback bout after remarkable finishing wins against top names like current flyweight title challenger Alexa Grasso and former two-time champion Carla Esparza.
She has a tough test ahead of her, however, as De La Rosa has proven herself to be one of the tougher names to finish in the flyweight division, only having been beaten via decision since she entered the UFC.
Despite coming off of two injuries and a nearly four-year layoff, Suarez enters this bout as a massive betting favorite.
- Tatiana Suarez: (-750)
- Montana De La Rosa: (+550)
De La Rosa enters this bout with a 2-inch height and 2-inch reach advantage. As well as this, she’s 4-years Suarez’s junior, only now entering what could likely be her athletic prime at 28 years old. However, De La Rosa may also still be reeling from a loss in momentum from her April loss against Maycee Barber in a bout that many believe was a robbery.
One thing is for certain in this fight, and that’s that this will most likely end up becoming a grappling clinic. Both fighters have proven themselves to have some of the best grappling in their divisions with solid gas tanks to back it. De La Rosa enters this as the much more jiu-jitsu-oriented fighter, while Suarez comes from an American wrestling background. Both have extremely technical submission threats with solid ground and pound. On paper, Suarez should come into this fight as the betting favorite, with both fighters having fairly lackluster striking ability and Suarez having proven herself to be a more dominant grappler with stronger top pressure.
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However, I believe that the long layoff and injuries, when paired with the fact that she’s moving up in weight, may make this a more difficult bout for Suarez than the oddsmakers are predicting. For one, this is Suarez’s first bout, at least within the UFC, in which she’s giving up a reach and height advantage, with her biggest disadvantage coming from a dead-even height and reach against Alexa Grasso. With that being said, however, if Suarez ends up on top she’ll likely either steal a round or put together punishing ground-and-pound against her opponent, which could quickly nullify the size advantage for the rest of the bout. However, De La Rosa is equally dangerous on top, using a much more efficient punch-and-pass style that has scored much of her finishes within the UFC.
Overall, this fight will largely be decided in the striking and clinch exchanges between the two athletes. Suarez is a fairly relentless takedown artist, shooting multiple takedowns until she settles into a grounded position where she could work. She averages about six takedowns per fight with a completion percentage of 62%. De La Rosa actually mirrors this nicely, with a takedown defense of 63%, however, she initiates far fewer grappling exchanges, averaging only one takedown attempt per fight. With that being said, I believe that De La Rosa is much more comfortable on the feet, putting together sharp one-twos at a distance and solid knees in the clinch. However, once it gets to the fence it will likely be Suarez’s world. De La Rosa has been shown to find a lot of trouble against the fence, with the grappling exchanges there being a large reason why she arguably lost to Maycee Barber. Inversely, that is exactly where Suarez thrives, with much of her best work being grinding exchanges against the fence until she could drag her opponents down and drown them with pressure.
Prediction and Betting Guide
Overall, as much as I would like to pick an upset, Suarez will likely win her flyweight debut this Saturday, simply given the fact that De La Rosa’s striking, despite being fairly more adept than Suarez, will likely not make much of a difference unless she could manage to stay in the center of the octagon throughout the entirety of the fight.
Still, however, I believe the oddsmakers are vastly undermining De La Rosa’s ability in this fight. As much as I don’t see a way for De La Rosa to win this aside from clinching a decision, I equally don’t see Suarez being able to finish De La Rosa unless she somehow lands a huge strike on the feet.
Because of that, I’m recommending either Suarez via decision (-110) or the fight to go the distance (-135), although I wouldn’t be surprised to see a major upset given Suarez’s lack of experience against larger fighters, return from two injuries, and a three-year layoff; as well as De La Rosa showing major improvements since she debuted in The Ultimate Fighter five years ago.
Bet: Tatiana Suarez by decision (-110) or Fight to go the Distance (-135)