Posted 07/10/2013 by admin in Featured Fighter

Marloes Coenen better prepared for a Cyborg storm

by Jon Lane, July 10th, 2013

She was stronger. Marloes Coenen will give Cris “Cyborg” Justino that much. After all, she was blitzed by the Brazilian buzzsaw in three rounds on the night of January 30, 2010 in Miami.

Better? Absolutely not.

Coenen’s endorsement is a testament to Cyborg’s brute force — “It felt to me like a guy of 80 kilos (176 pounds) was punching me instead of a girl that weighed 145,” Coenen told MMA Owl — but that’s not suggesting her skill set is on par with the former Strikeforce bantamweight champion. This Saturday night in Kansas City, Missouri, Coenen receives a cherished second chance when she clashes with Cyborg for Invicta Fighting Championship’s inaugural 145-pound title in the main event of Invicta FC 6. Shots at redemption off TKO losses are rare, but Invicta FC saw it as a PR opportunity, and Coenen enters better prepared to cash in and take Cyborg out.

“I already said I wanted to fight her again,” Coenen said. “This time I will have to cut weight because I’ve done a lot of strength and conditioning, so I’ll come in stronger and heavier, and I will be prepared for a storm.”

“I’ve never been hit that hard in my life. I think I’m a technically better fighter, but she was so much stronger than I was and that’s why she won. If you look at Cyborg she’s fighting exactly the same as she did in the first fight. I don’t see a lot of progress in her. She doesn’t need to progress because she’s beating up and demolishing everyone. She’s an amazing athlete, but I do think I’m way more technical.”

Undefeated since 2005, Cyborg has run roughshod over 12 straight opponents (one victory overturned to a no contest after she tested positive for stanozolol) including Coenen at 3:40 of the third round at Strikeforce: Miami. But a lot has changed since that night in Sunrise, Florida. The Dutch veteran enters Saturday 4-1 in her last five fights. Since dropping the Strikeforce 135-pound title to Miesha Tate in July 2011, she enjoyed a successful Invcita debut with a decision win over Romy Ruyssen and submitted Fiona Muxlow in the first round at DREAM 18 on New Year’s Eve 2012.

Despite the loss, Coenen lasted longer against Cyborg than anyone since 2005. In the deciding round, Coenen landed a right hand that would have planted a lesser opponent, but Cyborg ate it before taking the fight to the mat and executing a relentless ground and pound.

“She was beating me up, but I didn’t give up,” Coenen said. “She was completely overpowering me. I knew she was strong, but I completely underestimated that.”

After serving a one-year suspension for stanozolol, Cyborg returned to the cage in April with a TKO of Muxlow in 3:46 of the first round at Invicta FC 5. Even off the banned substance, Cyborg proved she remains a destruction device, but when Coenen faces her again on Saturday, the playing field will reset to sea level.

“If she loses she’ll have to suck it up and not make any complaints,” Coenen said. “When she was caught, I wasn’t surprised. But I don’t like excuses after a fight. And it was my decision to step into the cage, so I wasn’t really expecting her to be on stuff.”

Headlined by Cyborg-Coenen 2, Invicta FC 6 will feature 13 fights available for viewing on pay-per-view and, with the co-main event showcasing undefeated strawweights Ayaka Hamasaki and Claudia Gadelha. Having competed since the age of 18, this is the first card headlined by Coenen, 32, and a sign of how far women’s MMA has come and the niche market Invicta has created.

“It really took off and started with Gina Carano; all girls in MMA need to pay respect to her,” Coenen said. “The second 2.0 wave came with Ronda Rousey. The positive thing about her is that she really drew attention to the females of MMA. What I like about Invicta is that they don’t go for one weight class. They don’t come up with false excuses that there’s not enough depth. They give everyone a chance.”



Marloes Coenen vs. Cristiane Santos - for Featherweight Title

Claudia Gadelha vs. Ayaka Hamasaki

Sarah D’Alelio vs. Lauren Taylor

Leslie Smith  vs. Jennifer Maia

Jessica Penne vs. Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc

Joanne Calderwood vs. Norma Rueda Center

Ediane Gomes vs. Tamikka Brents

Bec Hyatt vs. Mizuki Inoue

Miriam Nakamoto vs. Duda Yankovich

Tecia Torres vs. Rose Namajunas

Preliminary Card

Ashley Cummins vs. Emily Kagan

Mollie Estes vs. Veronica Rothenhausler

Cassie Robb vs. Livia von Plettenberg


Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC