UFC 228 Live: UFC Championship bout between current champion Tyron Woodley and Darren Till. Due to a nasal issue that required surgery, the interim champion Colby Covington was not available for this event.
He is also expected to be stripped of his title as soon as the Woodley/Till bout takes place. The Ultimate Fighter: American Top Team vs. Blackzilians welterweight winner Kamaru Usman submitted medicals and weighed in as an official replacement for the bout.
A UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship bout between then current champion Nicco Montaño and former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship title challenger Valentina Shevchenko was expected to take place at the event, as the co-headliner. However, before the weigh-ins, Montaño was transported to a hospital due to the effects of weight cutting and the title bout with Shevchenko was cancelled. Later that day, UFC president Dana White announced that Montaño was stripped of the title and that Shevchenko will fight for the vacant belt “as soon as she’s able”.
A featherweight bout between The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America featherweight winner Yair Rodríguez and Zabit Magomedsharipov was scheduled for the event. However, Rodríguez pulled out of the fight on August 23 citing injury. He was replaced by Brandon Davis.
Ryan Benoit was scheduled to face Roberto Sanchez at the event. However, Benoit pulled out of the fight in late August for undisclosed reasons and was replaced by Jarred Brooks.
UFC 228’s Tatiana Suarez thinks beating Carla Esparza puts her one fight from title shot
DALLAS – Tatiana Suarez is ready to move to the forefront of the UFC strawweight division with a victory over former champion Carla Esparza on Saturday at UFC 228.
Suarez (6-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has been touted as future contender and potential champion since winning Season 23 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series. Thus far she’s lived up to expectations, handling all three of her UFC opponents to date, putting her in position for a high-profile bout against Esparza (13-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC).
The outside hype is flattering to Suarez, she said. However, it’s nothing compared to the pressure she puts on herself going into each fight. Producing the results she personally desires trumps everything else.
“I think this is going to be able to show the rest of my MMA and all of me that I’m a well-rounded fighter. People are going to see more of Tatiana. Before they only saw 1 percent of Tatiane. Now they’ll maybe see 2 percent of her.”
If Suarez achieves victory against Esparza at UFC 228, she would have a four-fight UFC winning streak at 115 pounds, which is the longest active streak in the division. That’s not only enough to get Suarez notice but put her on the radar as a true title contender.
Suarez agrees that she will be in a promising position if she can take out a former champ, and from there she envisions a pretty clear path to UFC gold.
“I definitely think when I win this fight there will be a title shot coming soon,” Suarez said. “One or two fights, maybe even just one fight. I think I’ll fight a No. 1 or No. 2 contender, maybe like Claudia (Gadelha) or (Jessica) Andrade or Karolina (Kowalkiewicz) and then I’ll be right in line for that belt.”
To hear more from Suarez, check out the video above.
For more on UFC 228, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.