By Red Mattos:
Marloes Coenen took some time off from training for her fight this Saturday to talk to USA Today. Coenen will be headlining the first all-female Invicta Fighting Championships card against Romy Ruyssen. This will be her first fight since losing to Miesha Tate on the Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson card. The fight will be a rematch between the two; Coenen won their first bout via submission.
Coenen feels that a card featuring only women fighters will be more interesting to women. “If you look at UFC, it’s really, really good, but it’s really focused on guys and heavy metal music and beer and Harley-Davidson. I think if you have a full female card, a lot of women can relate to that. … With a different tone of voice, I think that Invicta can become a really big organization.”
When asked how she feels about being the “big star” on the Invictus card, “I do my best. Out of all their fighters, I’m the one with the most experience.” She added that she thinks she can help them to “make it a legit organization that fighters really want to fight for.” She said she has no qualms about doing “any interview that they ask me to do.” She hopes to be good role model and that the organization is “happy with what I do for them.”
Coenen gave her thoughts on her upcoming fight and her opponent, saying, “She’s a very quick killer, so to speak. She was very young when she was fighting me, so she has progressed in those four years a lot. She’s a very dangerous opponent. I know she won’t keep it standing with me. She wants to go to the ground. So you can imagine what my game plan will be. Of course, I will really not elaborate on it, but it will be an interesting fight, for sure.”
She expressed her enthusiasm about getting back into the cage: “It’s the first fight after a loss, so as a fighter you’re really pumped to prove yourself to the audience again that you are indeed a good fighter. So I’m eager to get into the cage this Saturday.”
She also took a moment to think back on her loss and what she thought went wrong; “I don’t like to make excuses, but prior to the fight, a lot of things happened. When I think back on 2011, I didn’t take care of my body.She won. Miesha deserved that win. Also, Miesha fighting against Ronda Rousey, she earned my respect also. Let me put it like (this): I worked on my wrestling.”
Coenen quickly shot down the notion that there is less talent at 145 and that that is why she will be fighting at that weight as oppose to 135. “Oh, that’s nonsense. I totally disagree. There are so many girls out there that are willing to fight and can fight.” She claims the reasons for this claim is to “keep the development of women’s MMA a little bit down, because they didn’t believe in it. If you don’t believe in it, you will find 1,000 excuses to not do it, you know?” Another reason she says is that a lot of girls dropped to 135 simply because “they didn’t want to face (Strikeforce ex-champion) Cyborg.”
She goes on to say that even though this happened, “There are enough girls out there who can make the sport grow. It’s very sad that Zuffa doesn’t — they’re such a big market. I’m looking at all the girls that are fighting and can be good ambassadors. I think you can make so much money off it if you just put a little bit different marketing strategy behind it. Half of the population is female, so it’s a growth of 50% that you can add to your income.”
She was asked whether or not the Rousey v. Tate fight went the way she expected: “No. I thought Miesha could take it to the third round at least. Ronda impressed me. She’s a great fighter and she attracts a lot of attention to the sport, and that’s a good thing. I give props to both of the girls.”
Addressing the sudden influx of Olympic caliber athletes entering womens MMA, Coenen didn’t seem too concerned. “I don’t worry about it at all, actually, because judo ain’t MMA. If I look at Ronda, I see myself when I was fighting at the age of 19. I was always very nervous and I was really aggressive. I won all my fights also within the first round and stuff like that. But when you mature and you get more experience and you have to fight longer fights, the way of fighting changes. When Ronda gets a few — like (if) Sarah (Kaufman) punches her hard in the face, I really want to see what happens. If somebody can take it to the second or third round, if she gets out or not, I want to see about that. MMA ain’t judo and it ain’t boxing and it ain’t wrestling.”
She even pulled out a K-1 reference; “ It’s like just when Bob Sapp came to K-1. In the beginning, he crushed everyone. But then they found what his weakness was and he then all of a sudden he was nowhere anymore. Of course, he wasn’t a martial artist. But it says something about the way you have to deal with opponents.”
She did say that she thinks it’s, “really good if an Olympic-level judo player comes to MMA,” her reason being “because she sets new standards for what I would call the second phase in fighting: the throwing. So I really welcome it. But I do not fear it at all.”
The fight between Coenen and Ruyssentakes place on April 28, 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas.