By: Mike Bacior, MMATorch Contributor
Strikeforce Women’s 135 lb. Champion Marloes Coenen successfully defended her belt last month for the first time in a come from behind performance against late replacement challenger Liz Carmouche. Submitting Carmouche in the fourth round of a highly exciting fight in Columbus, Ohio, Coenen earned her third submission win in four fights inside of the Strikeforce cage. The Golden Glory fighter took some time out this week to talk to MMATorch’s Mike Bacior on that win, her next fight against Meisha Tate, Zuffa’s purchase of Strikeforce and more.
MIKE BACIOR: First off, congratulations on the big, and dramatic win over a very tough challenger in Liz Carmouche. I really enjoyed that fight, as well as all of your other fights that I’ve seen.
MARLOES COENEN: Thanks Mike!
BACIOR: Was there ever any doubt in your mind during that fight? She was performing very well.
COENEN: Of course but on the other hand the ref was told not to stop it too soon as I can defend good in the guard and we knew that my 11 years experience was a big plus for me.
BACIOR: How relieving was it to finally get the tap?
COENEN: As in…’Finally over!’ Haha, it felt really good, better than the Kaufman fight. As I had more pressure on me with a less good preparation.
BACIOR: What are your thoughts on your next title challenger (and original opponent at Fejiao vs. Henderson) Miesha Tate?
COENEN: My thoughts are that she is a good fighter, who I certainly do not underestimate. She plays a certain character in the media where the male audience respond to well. My professional feelings are that she cannot escape this time, I’ll come and get her.
BACIOR: How do you see that fight going?
COENEN: Miesha will not go toe-toe with me if she is smart. She’ll go for the Carmouche tactic and tries to throw me and end on top. Especially now with the elbows.
BACIOR: Are there any other fighters in the Women’s 135 lb division you are particularly watching?
COENEN: Yes there are but my focus is on Miesha right now.
BACIOR: What are your thoughts on Zuffa’s purchase of Strikeforce? What do you think, or hope, will become of the female fighters in Strikeforce?
COENEN: I refuse to be nervous about it. We bring enough to the game to be a healthy and commercial interesting division. With a variety of characters the division is appealing to a large audience. We are good role models to other women. If we are marketed good by Zuffa we can actually increase the target audience by very loyal fans… the women fans. We can help stretching the UFC brand over multiple targets groups and help [in] creating a long lasting all American dream.
BACIOR: Would fighting in the UFC be a dream of yours?
COENEN: I am already living my dream!
BACIOR: In the long run, do you think the purchase will be good for MMA?
COENEN: Let’s hope for the best.
BACIOR: Who are your favorite fighters to watch?
COENEN: Alistair, Gokhan Saki, Nick Diaz, Gilbert Melendez, Jason Miller and many more.
BACIOR: What feelings, if any, do you have about the return of Gina Carano?
COENEN: Good for the sport!
BACIOR: What are your feelings on 145 lb champ, and one-time opponent, Cristian Santos?
COENEN: A power house and a true and worthy champion.
BACIOR: Would you ever want to face her again down the line?
COENEN: 100%, first defend my title at 135lbs a few times then 1-2 warm up fights at 145lbs. Then I have time enough to sharpen my techniques and grow the badly needed muscles on.
BACIOR: Thank you very much for your time, Marloes, and thank you to Mike Afromowitz from Strikeforce for helping me put this together. If you would like to give any shout-outs to sponsors or anything else, please go ahead.
COENEN: Thanks to Showtime, Strikeforce, Shannon Knapp for believing in us women, Tim of Raw State, MicroTech, Lean FX, FightGame and Golden Glory. Last but not least the American audience for welcoming me in their country!