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Tatiana Suarez Faces Setback as Knee Injury Forces Withdrawal from UFC 298 Bout

LockerRoom Team
02 February 2024

Tatiana Suarez, the TUF 23 winner and a top contender in the UFC women's strawweight division, has encountered a significant setback due to a knee injury. Originally scheduled to face Amanda Lemos at UFC 298 on February 17, Suarez's injury, sustained during training on her 33rd birthday in December 2023, has forced her withdrawal from the pivotal bout.

Suarez, widely regarded as one of the most talented female fighters globally, had hoped to use the Lemos fight as her final test before vying for the UFC strawweight title. However, complications arose as her knee failed to recover as expected. Suarez detailed the challenges, explaining that inflammation persisted, leading to the extraction of an excessive amount of fluid from her knee. Stem cell treatment intended to aid recovery further delayed her return to training.

The former Olympic wrestling hopeful, who boasts a 10-0 record, withdrew from the contest earlier this month. Mackenzie Dern will now step in to face Lemos as the preliminary card headliner at UFC 298.

Suarez has faced recurring injuries throughout her UFC career, with a near four-year layoff from June 2019 to February 2023 due to various setbacks. Despite the hurdles, Suarez displayed resilience in 2023 with consecutive submission wins over Montana De La Rosa and Jessica Andrade. Unfortunately, her anticipated return to the octagon has been delayed once again.

Consulting with medical professionals at the UFC Performance Institute, Suarez emphasized that there is no structural damage to her knee. However, her decision to withdraw stems from a cautious approach to avoid aggravating the injury, especially given her previous severe knee injury that required surgery.

While an HBO Sports documentary, "The Unbreakable Tatiana Suarez," highlighting her career adversity releases this week, Suarez remains optimistic about her future. She aims to resume her pursuit of the UFC strawweight title, currently focused on recovering from the lingering knee inflammation before returning to full live training within the next few weeks.

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