– ERIN TOUGHILL ON STRIKEFORCE, MARLOES COENEN

by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
After what may seem like the longest negotiations in recent memory, standout female fighter Erin Toughill has finally signed a deal that could take her to the next level of MMA.

As she confirmed with MMAWeekly.com, “The great news is that I finally signed my contract with Strikeforce.”

Toughill had originally appeared to have joined the promotion earlier this year and been placed on its Aug. 15 fight card. But as she explains, things didn’t work out that way due to previous business associations.

“There was just a lot of mixed communication between Strikeforce and my management at the time,” she stated. “By the time I got to them personally and spoke to them, we just didn’t have enough time to iron everything out (before that show).

“We kept negotiating and finally got a multi-fight deal with them.”

Toughill is now scheduled to replace an injured Cris “Cyborg” Santos and face Marloes Coenen in a rematch on Strikeforce’s Fedor vs. Rogers CBS card on Nov. 7 in Chicago.

“I’m sure Marloes is probably upset,” commented Toughill. “I’m sure she was expecting to get her title shot; instead she has to fight me again.”

In their first bout in Smackgirl nearly five years ago, she knocked out Coenen. Toughill feels, however, that five years is a long time, and anything can happen the second time around.

“I just have to assume that she’s grown a lot and worked on her weak points, as I’ve done the same thing,” said Toughill. “I still feel I’m going to come out the winner, but she is someone I have a lot of respect for and feel is still a dangerous fighter.

“She has knockout potential, and anything can happen in MMA. But like I said, I know I’m going to come out the winner in this fight.”

Currently the bout is scheduled to be on the evening’s non-televised undercard, but Toughill hopes CBS and Strikeforce will change their minds leading up the event.

“I hope that they put us on TV because we’re both great fighters and we’re definitely going to show what women are capable of,” she stated. “This is the turning point for both of us.

“There are other really good female fighters out there other than Gina (Carano) and Cyborg. Either way it’s going to be a good fight and I think it’s going to be a knockout, but I don’t think it’s going to be me that’s knocked out.”

Now that she finally has her Strikeforce deal in hand, Toughill is finally seeing the light at the end of a seemingly infinite tunnel, and is thankful to those who have given her this opportunity.

“Thanks to Strikeforce, Neil Melanson, Ray Sefo, Xtreme Couture and Shawn Tompkins,” she concluded. “Thanks to Shannon Knapp, definitely, not only for me, but for all the women out there. I know she is a big proponent of the women getting to the level that the men are at and I’m very grateful for her putting a lot of faith in me.

“Thank you to all my fans for being so patient. My goal is to win the title, and if I get the chance to face Cyborg, I’m going to be ready, and I’m sure she is too.”