“It’s like they sized it just for me!” PicProps: Ester Lin / InvictFC
Cris Cyborg reclaimed her place on the throne as #1 Woman in the World You Definitely Do Not Want to Fuck With (plus Invicta’s featherweight championship or whatever) with a methodical four-round thrashing of Forever #2 Marloes Coenen. Coenen was seen as the most legitimate challenger for Cyborg at 145 (in fairness, 145 is a division that could charitably be compared to a blasted desert), and Cyborg goes and does this shit:
Jesus Christ man, Cyborg is throwing Coenen around like she’s Lexington Steele FFS. Coenen is stunned and barely gets her defense up after that slam, and it wasn’t the only ride Cyborg took her on, either. And that’s not another hack attempt at a sexual joke! I mean literally: Cyborg turned simple takedowns into explosive interpretive dances of Anger, Social Anxiety, and Bitch I Will Cut You, pressing a full option of punches, knees, elbows, and throws, and it’s fucking terrifying. She’s like the real-world women’s equivalent of Tong Po.
Coenen appeared to be going into the fight with Gameplan #39 (The Bob Sapp Trapp) in play: avoid an early bull-rush, weather the sloppy offense, and wait for the brute to tire out. Finish with ankle lock, season to taste.
But Cyborg never bull rushed. Cyborg was patient: she waited for openings and picked her shots, using her energy wisely. This is a noticeable improvement over previous fights, when Cyborg was prone to berserker rages that ate into her cardio reserves. She would still rip off a violent series of hooks, just not twelve of them.
More ominously, Cyborg looked to be refocused on cardio, probably a result of her work with Tito Ortiz. With her new found efficiency of movement, she seemed capable of sustaining her new pace for five rounds, or more if she needed.
She needed not. Her offense ramped up as the match went on, as Coenen’s ability to absorb Cyborg’s onslaught declined. By the fourth round, Coenen had taken enough punishment for Matt freakin Lindland to want to call it. Big John called it. Cyborg was a verr heppy for her chance for to be a women’s champion again, and thanks verr much for to God and Invicta. Meanwhile, Coenen looked dazed, with a faraway gaze into the distance, perhaps contemplating her next move, or perhaps merely still struggling to wrap her head around what she had gotten herself into.
Or I guess that glassy-eyed look could have been all the blunt force trauma. Hard to tell sometimes.