UFC strawweight Tatiana Suarez is a dominant fighter. There are no if, ands or buts about it.
Her aggression, relentless pressure and vicious ground game have helped her become one of, if not the top contender to Jessica Andrade’s title. Suarez’s technical skills are continuing to develop and if you combine that with factor with her burning passion for winning, it is clear that Suarez is going to be at the top for a longtime.
And while she definitely shows a mean streak inside the Octagon, Suarez’s personality couldn’t be any different from her fighting style. Suarez is quick to make a joke, laugh out loud and is always having fun.
We caught up with Suarez to get to know some more about the undefeated fighter. From childhood sports, to Golden Doodles to crime shows.
UFC: Growing up, which sports did you participate in and what made you fall in love with wrestling?
Suarez: When I was younger I did all sports. I played soccer, I played football, I was a cheerleader, I danced, I did ballet, I Folklorico dancing which is like a Mexican style of dance, I did volley, I did baseball. I pretty much did everything except for basketball.
I just think that wrestlers are very mentally tough. They have really tough workouts and I think it mentally prepares them to be a champion. Wrestling truly shapes your mindset and pushes you to compete on another level.
UFC: Do you have any current or former UFC fighters that you are a fan of?
Suarez: I like all the little guys, all the fast ones like Henry Cejudo and Demetrious Johnson. They’re all fast and I like watching them.
UFC: What is something about you that fans don’t know?
Suarez: I train dogs and my favorite breed is the Golden Doodle. A Golden Doodle is a Golden Retriever mixed with a Poodle. My dog, Strudel is a Golden Doodle and he’s the best dog in the world.
UFC: When did you start training dogs and what about it captured your interest?
Suarez: I started training right after I was diagnosed with cancer. I went through my treatment and then after I was done I ended started training dogs. It was something I could do part time and then also train to be a UFC champion.
UFC: What kind of music do you listen to on fight night to pump you up?
Suarez: No so when I’m in the locker room I like to listen to the crowd and kind of listen to the outside, the commentators on the screen and stuff like that. Just because I want to be where I’m at I don’t want to kind of zone out because then when I get into the cage it’s going to be more of a shock. I think if you’re around it, that’s what the sound is that’s where your environment is. Grow accustomed to your environment.
UFC: Do you have any TV shows or genres that you’re into?
Suarez: I’m a crime show girl. I’m like obsessed, obsessed with murders, not murdering people don’t want to do that that’s bad. But finding out the killer, I like when the person gets justice. Yeah it’s not going to bring them back but put that sociopath in jail. I like Ice Cube’s show, I like Dateline and there’s one that’s crazy called “Buried In The Backyard” that’s about these 30 year old murders that are insane.
UFC: If you could meet a celebrity who would you pick?
Suarez: I don’t know who I’d pick. As long as they were nice. I wouldn’t want to pick someone who went from being humble and kind to stuck up and rude. I think meeting The Rock would be pretty awesome.
UFC: As you continue to work your way toward the belt you’re celebrity will likely increase. Why is it important for you stay humble and nice?
Suarez: I don’t know, don’t be entitled I don’t like that. Some people feel like they are well known or something they can be entitled I don’t like that kind of attitude. I always want to be humble. I always want to make sure I do something and my mom is like “that’s good.” I always want to make sure that my mom is happy.
Gavin Porter is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com, follow him on Twitter at @PorterUFCNews