by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
(Photo courtesy of Esther Lin/Strikeforce)
Strikeforce 145-pound female titleholder Cris “Cyborg” Santos (6-0) is set to defend her title for the first time on Jan. 30 against Marloes Coenen (17-3), and the challenger doesn’t think it will go to a decision.
“I don’t think it will go five rounds at all, because of the person she is and the person I am. If you put that together, it will not go to the fifth round at all,” Coenen told the media about her upcoming title fight.
Coenen made her Strikeforce debut in November, avenging a previous loss to Roxanne Modaferri. Twelve of her 17 wins have come by submission, but the Golden Glory trained athlete doesn’t consider herself a ground fighter.
“I don’t consider myself as a ground fighter. I consider myself as a complete MMA fighter,” commented the Dutch fighter. “I’m training for a fight. I’m training for five-five minute rounds. I’m ready for everything.”
Santos has an aggressive style and goes after her opponents with a devastating mix of strikes, but Coenen isn’t afraid to stand with the Brazilian.
“I know people are really focusing on my ground game, but I know my stand-up is really good and my striking is really okay because I dropped Roxanne with one punch and I’ve KO’d girls before with just one punch,” said the 28-year-old fighter. “I know my stand-up is okay and I know Cris will find out about it.
“It will be a tough fight because Cris is an amazing athlete, a real powerhouse,” added Coenen. “I know that everything I do is good. My stand-up is okay; my ground game is okay. I really think we’ll both bring it and go toe-to-toe and give the audience what they’re expecting.”
Coenen knows she’s the underdog heading into the bout with Santos, but doesn’t care what the odds say.
“I know I’m considered the underdog, but I think hardcore MMA fans know what I can do and what I’m capable of. I hope that my last fight was a demonstration of that,” said the Dutch fighter. “To be honest, I don’t really care what people think. I will show them in the cage.”
Winning the title would be tremendous for Coenen, who realizes she’s not as well known as Santos or Gina Carano, but also knows she’s one win away from being there.
“To be honest, I don’t think I’m on the same level (of popularity) as Gina and Cris are, but I hope this fight will change that,” said the challenger.
“Winning the title? I won my first title in the ’90s in Tokyo, and ever since then I haven’t got a nice title. I’m very eager to get this title. I hope it’s a good start to my career in America.”