Suarez uncertain about timeline for return: Live jiu-jitsu 'didn't go well'

Jeff Bottari / UFC / Getty

UFC strawweight contender Tatiana Suarez doesn't know when she'll return to action after experiencing neck pain while drilling jiu-jitsu in early March.

"I tried to go live for jiu-jitsu and it didn't go well," Suarez told theScore. "I was going with a girl that weighed like 100 pounds, and I was like, 'Oh, my neck hurts.' I usually roll with men that are heavy and I feel fine. (It's) not a good sign. ... What I've got to do for now is just drill until I'm a little bit better, and then I can get back to going live again."

Suarez (8-0) hasn't competed since she fought through a neck injury in her victory over Nina Ansaroff at UFC 238 in June 2019. The 29-year-old seemed optimistic about her return date when speaking to theScore in November, but this latest setback has extended that timeline.

"The Ultimate Fighter 23" winner said she consulted the UFC Performance Institute on her recovery and was given exercises to help rehab the injury and avoid surgery.

"Right now, I've been seeing lots of physical therapists, and I'm just getting the best team together to help me basically ... strengthen my neck and reprogram my body so that I can go ahead and fight again," Suarez said.

She still sees improvements compared to four months ago.

"I definitely feel like (recovery) is getting better," Suarez said. "I'm just trying to remain hopeful and be positive because it's really tough when you're training really hard, but then you have nothing to train for, you know? I just told myself, 'This is your opportunity to get better.' At this point, there's nothing really you can do."

Look for the full video interview with Suarez next week on theScoreMMA podcast and in the meantime subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

Suarez uncertain about timeline for return: Live jiu-jitsu 'didn't go well'
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