3 women who could be UFC champion someday

There are three women who have a great chance of becoming a new UFC champion.

Aug 5, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA;  Tatiana Suarez (blue gloves) celebrates the win by
Aug 5, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tatiana Suarez (blue gloves) celebrates the win by / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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Women's MMA has flourished in the UFC since its first bantamweight championship match in 2013 between Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche. The popularity, elite fighting skills, and marketability of stars like Rousey led the UFC to add strawweight, flyweight, and eventually, a featherweight division, all to give more women the chance to demonstrate their martial arts talent.

Each division showcases some of today's finest athletes and examples of MMA prowess. Luckily for fans, this has driven the popularity of women's MMA to new heights. Each weight class is stacked with talent. Interesting champions and hungry challengers pack the top 15 rankings and prove the future is in good hands.

Many capable warriors currently vie for gold at strawweight, flyweight, and bantamweight. Each of the competing fighters has the ability and credentials to be a champion. The unpredictability and ever-evolving landscape of MMA makes title turnover a high possibility.

Each competitor on this list has massive world title potential. They are all decorated athletes in their own right, with stellar accolades on their resumes. However, none have reached MMA's pinnacle yet- a UFC championship. Let's look at three women likely to hold gold before their careers end.

3. Tatiana Suarez

Tatiana Suarez (11-0) is the No. 2 ranked strawweight contender and the No. 9 ranked pound-for-pound fighter globally. The 33-year-old is a decorated amateur wrestler and won The Ultimate Fighter season 23. She has a stellar track record with wins over former champions Jessica Andrade and Carla Esparza. She has also beaten current flyweight title holder Alexa Grasso.

It's possible Suarez would have been a champion already if her career was not marred by injury. Suarez was unfortunately out of action from 2019-2023 while dealing with neck and knee problems. However, her 2023 return made it seem as if she hardly missed a step. She claimed victories over Montana De La Rosa and the aforementioned Andrade.

Suarez claimed the TUF tournament title in 2016 and has been dominant in the UFC since, going 7-0 with the promotion thus far. Few have kept up with Suarez's tenacious onslaught. She has accumulated seven finish victories in her career overall, made up of five submissions and two knockouts.

Dominant wrestlers have always succeeded in MMA. Few women could boast a better track record wrestling than Suarez. She began competing in the sport as a child and went on to accumulate two bronze medals in the world freestyle championship and be the No. 1 ranked freestyle wrestler in the 55kg category in 2011. Her skills transitioned perfectly to MMA as she's known for taking opponents down at will and being impossible to take down herself.

Unfortunately, injuries have derailed her championship ascent once again for the time being. A bout with fellow title contender Amanda Lemos fell through after Suarez's knee flared up again. Suarez is unlikely to be deterred as she's made a career out of battling adversity. She remains a fixture in the title picture and is likely only one or two wins away from securing her first championship opportunity.