There were more than a few objections to Marloes Coenen getting a shot at Sarah Kaufman’s Strikeforce welterweight title prior to Saturday night. Coenen had never fought at 135lbs previously, plus she was coming off a loss to 145lb champion Cris “Cyborg” Santos in her last fight.
Well, Coenen proved she did belong in the fight because just moments into the third round she applied an armbar forcing Kaufman to tap out, as she becomes the new Strikeforce 135lb women’s champion.
The first two rounds of the fight between Coenen and Kaufman were fairly slow moving with both women being tentative and spending a lot of time in the clinch against the cage. Towards the end of the second round, Coenen finally landed a nice hip toss, only to have Kaufman reverse positions and slam down with punches as time expired.
Coenen learned something from that moment, and looked to take the fight to the ground again as the third round got underway. While Kaufman seemed comfortable at first, it was just a matter of time before the Dutch fighter found her range and kicked up her long legs, wrapping up one of her signature armbars.
Kicking her hips up, Coenen held on like a vice grip and Kaufman had no choice but to tap or suffer an injury. Kaufman almost suffered an injury anyways as the referee was slow to move in and stop the fight, and Coenen kept wrenching on the hold until she knew the fight was over.
With a new title belt around her waist, Coenen showed her true sportsmanship as she expressed concerned about her opponent’s well being before even acknowledging her achievement.
“First, I would really like to apologize to Sarah because I really didn’t know, normally in training I know when I have to let go, but the referee came in a little bit too late. I deeply apologize,” Coenen said after her win.
Now established at the Strikeforce 135lb women’s champion, Marloes Coenen won’t have to wait very long for the first challenge for her new belt as Team Alpha Male fighter Miesha Tate waits in the wings as the No. 1 contender.
Coenen didn’t waste anytime getting a message out to her next opponent.
“Let’s get it on,” Coenen shouted to Tate.
Coenen will celebrate her victory tonight, and then the preparation will likely begin for his first title defense as the new Strikeforce welterweight women’s champion.