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Marloes Coenen Talks Meisha Tate’s Miraculous Recovery, What Gina Carano Did for Her Career, Her 2011 Opponent Wishlist and Much More

(“I think we women really have to unite, keep coming up with really good fights and also be feminine outside of the ring as well.”)

We had the opportunity this week on The Bum Rush Radio Show to speak with Strikeforce welterweight champion Marloes Coenen who is set to take on Liz Carmouche at  Saturday night’s Feijao vs. Henderson event in Columbus, Ohio. As always, Marloes was an articulate class act, demonstrating why, besides her in-cage prowess, Strikeforce holds her in such high regard as a person, a fighter and a champion.

In the brief conversation we had with the Golden Glory-trained fighter, Coenen touched on a number of topics including original opponent Meisha Tate’s injury and miraculous recovery, representing Women’s MMA with class, finishing fights, her relationship with her Golden Glory trainers and teammates and much more.

Here are Marloes’ thoughts…

On how the change in opponent from Tate to Carmouche affected her training:

“We do look at the opponent [when preparing for a fight], but I believe that MMA is a sport and though it sounds maybe a little bit simple, it’s always the same. You tweak [your training] a little bit to the opponent you’re fighting. Then we’ve also got a game plan, of course. I believe Liz’s stand-up is a little bit better than Misha’s. She’s a good wrestler, too. She’s won very impressively her five fights. I’m feeling good and it will be a good fight, I’m sure.”

On how becoming the Strikeforce women’s welterweight champion changed her life back home in Holland:

“In the Netherlands MMA isn’t that big, so the media did not pay that much attention to it. I got a little bit more media attention, but to be honest, my focus is on the U.S. so what’s happening in the Netherlands…I like it — I received an award the day before I flew to the U.S. The attention and the recognition is there in the martial arts scene and I’m very happy with that, but my focus is on the U.S. For me it’s important that people get to know me here — not only as a fighter, but also that they get to know me as a person as well.”

On what  Gino Carano did for her career:

“I think people who started started paying attention to women’s MMA when Gina became so popular. In the beginning I heard people talking badly about her, but I’m really grateful to her because she was the one who made it big. I was in the game for a long time and thanks to her I’m now fighting in the U.S. If she wasn’t there, I don’t believe I would be here right now.”

On the importance of repping WMMA with class to attract a wider audience:

“What I can do, I do. I do my best [to help women's MMA grow] and I hope it’s enough. I think we women really have to unite, keep coming up with really good fights and also be feminine outside of the ring as well. When I’m in the cage I don’t look too good, but I believe it’s very important to be feminine outside of the cage. We saw it in Gina. To [hardcore] fans, it doesn’t matter if its a man or a woman who’s fighting in the cage, but to a casual fan it’s more about appearances, entertainment and everything around them. It’s very important. If you want to get that target group, then we really have to play the game. I do it in my own way. I always try to stay respectful and everything like that. I hope I can help [gain women's MMA more acceptance].”

On how she felt after her fight with Sarah Kaufman when the former champ accused her of holding a submission after the tap:

“I knew I didn’t do anything wrong. When I was in the cage [after the fight] I felt that the audience was booing me and I thought that they didn’t understand that I was just playing the game fairly. Later on I talked to a few people and they said, ‘No, they weren’t booing at you.’ They were booing, some people said, at the referee and some people said they were booing at Sarah for complaining. When I win, I do not want to go to the scorecards. I want to win by knockout or by tap out — nothing else. I don’t want to win a full play. In my opinion, if you have to play [the] full [fight], then you’re the weaker fighter in the cage. If you’re the best, then you win in a convincing way.”

On Tate’s injury and fighting sick and hurt:

“When I heard she was injured I really felt bad for her, but then I heard she was already back training and that next week she will be recovered. It sounds a little bit weird to me in my opinion, but it’s good for her to create a little bit of beef from her side because the fight will come and it will be a really hard fight for her. I’ve fought often when I was really sick and I still stepped into the ring or the cage. When you’re a fighter there are always injuries and there’s always stuff [wrong with you]. There are enough excuses not to step into the cage, but if you really want it, you will be in that cage. Sometimes you make the mistake of [fighting when] you’re too sick or too injured, but as a professional fighter you do have to deal with that and suck it up.”

On her desire to avenge her losses:

“I did it with Roxanne Modafferi because the first time I lost, in my opinion I didn’t lose. I was sick, too fighting that fight, but I didn’t tell that at the time because it sounded like an excuse, but I can now because I won against her the second time. The judges [of the first fight] were Japanese and they were from her gym and the referee was from her gym, but this is stuff you hear later on. With Cyborg, it was really a loss. She really beat me and it was one of the best fights I’ve ever had. I respect her a lot, but I’ve learned so much from that fight and I really want to fight her again. I want to fight a few times at 135 and then maybe another fight at 145 to get used to the weight and then I really want to meet her again in the cage.

On the possibility of fighting Carano one day:

“Oh yeah, I want to fight Gina as well! I’m up for it. Definitely. Anytime, anywhere.”

On the relationship she has with her Golden Glory trainers and teammates:

“I’ve been training with Martijn [de Jong] since the age of 14. I’ve known him for 15 years and we’ve been together to Japan. If you have a bond with a person like that who steps with you into the cage and who is always cageside, it creates such a bond. That’s something you also take with you in daily life. He’s like family to me. It really feels like family. In the gym people come and go, but the hardcore base of Golden Glory [remains constant]. I’ve known Alistair for like 12 years. I do not see him that often. He was there for my last training camp at the Amersfoort gym. Golden Glory has more than one gym in the Netherlands. So he was there and he was giving me advice and helping me with stuff and [we work together] in a friendly way. I believe it creates a synergy when everybody backs each other up.”

On whether or not she takes negative online editorials about her training partners to heart:

“To be honest, I don’t [take what I read on the Internet about my teammates personally], because I know how good they are and I know how hard they work for it. I find that the people who talk very loud on the Internet and are negative, mostly, are very frustrated people and I don’t want to have anything to do with that. If somebody is really negative towards like Gokhan Saki — I’m such a big fan of him. If somebody were to say something negative about him it would say more about the person than it would say anything about Saki. I feel the same for Alistair. People do not realize how hard Alistair has been training all these years and what he has sacrificed. The same goes for Nieky Holtzken or Dion Staring or Sem Schilt or Siyar Bahadurzada. If a peer, colleague or fellow fighter said something about one of my teammates it would hit me hard, like, ‘He’s not good.’ I’d be like, ‘What? He’s not good?!’ but anonymous people on the Internet I don’t care about. Keyboard warriors.”

On fighting for Strikeforce:

“First of all, the people of Strikeforce are really genuine, nice people and I feel that they really welcome you. Second, if you’re a female fighter there’s only one organization you want to fight for and it’s Strikeforce. At the moment, they’re the leading organization worldwide [for women's MMA], so it’s quite simple. If you’re not with Strikeforce, you’re nowhere.”

On her career goals:

“I’ve got one goal; I want to stay the champion. That’s my first and foremost goal, then, if it’s possible, as the reigning champion at 135, I’d like to also fight at 145, but that’s up to Scott [Coker]. He’s the boss and he’s decides.”

On the possibility of some day concurrently holding the 135 and 145-pound Strikeforce straps:

“I would not speak it out loud, but there’s a reason I want to fight Cyborg again.”

Cagepotato Comments

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RwilsonR- March 5, 2011 at 8:57 am
That would be a good time, my friend. And GB is always welcome. Plus, the good thing is that when you're drinking that many beers, women's MMA (and all women in general) just start to look a whole lot better.
fatbellyfrank- March 4, 2011 at 11:13 pm
@ Ghost, you know you can my good mate, Now we're gonna have to make it 75,000 beers, with snacks, served by topless strikeforce ring girls. I'd be offended if you didn't show up, suppose I'd better make it 125,000 beers, save drano and Rex having to post comments
ghostboner- March 4, 2011 at 9:48 pm
Since there is no edit feature, what I meant to say is, can I join you two fine fellows in this swilling of many thousands of beers and this discussing of bitches n fights n stuff? Typically I agree with RWR in that I just can't bring myself to care much about the WMMA, but I have a few exceptions, such as Marloes.
ghostboner- March 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm
Can I come too?
fatbellyfrank- March 4, 2011 at 9:37 pm
@ Rwr, respect Bro, respect,take your point 100%, Me, I quite like womens MMA and find the fights entertaining. Maybe we could meet up and discuss these matters over 50,000 beers!
RwilsonR- March 4, 2011 at 8:17 pm
@ FBF - well, he is king of the four rounders.
Truthfully, though, I wouldn't go out of my way to watch either Butterbean or Marloes, but if either one were on a good card I wouldn't turn it off. But the truth is - and I'm being absolutely serious now - I have almost certainly derived more enjoyment from Butterbean's career than I have from Marloes' career. And most of the enjoyment I have gotten from Gina's career has been from stripped down weigh-ins, drunken pictures of her, and other activities that have little to do with her actually fighting.
I don't expect anyone to agree with me, but I really have enjoyed watching that fat ass flop around in freak show fights more than I have ever enjoyed watching Roxanne Modafari or Sarah Kaufman. Gina's tits were the only thing that ever held any interest for me in women's MMA.
It's just not my thing, you know.
fatbellyfrank- March 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm
@ Rwr, Butterbean, you'd rather watch Butterbean that Gina v's marloes!!!!!!! please tell me I've missed the sarcasm in your comment,
fatbellyfrank- March 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm
@ Sudos, did ya check out that rose tattoo song? pretty sure its on i-tunes
fatbellyfrank- March 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm
Edit Cyborg is allowed to wear HER boxer shorts
fatbellyfrank- March 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm
@ CCman, you forgot to mention fighters apparel. This will be g-string panties only for the womens division. Cyborg's allowed to wear his boxer shorts
RwilsonR- March 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm
^ Believe it or not, but the bitches are still that much slower and less skilled than Super Heavyweights. Butterbean is more exciting. Bob Sapp is... well, okay, maybe not Bob Sapp.
FightZen- March 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm
"count me amongst the people who have little to no interest in the slower, less skilled version of the sport"

Soooo... no men's HW division?
ghostboner- March 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm
Sammiches indeed. Cyborg might make a mean tuna sammich, but I suspect her sausage omelette is the real attraction.
El Guapo- March 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm
^But I'd RAAAATHER rather they all make me sammiches. Except for Cyborg, of course. Not a fan of dick meat sammiches.
ghostboner- March 4, 2011 at 2:34 pm
@El Guapo, any heterosexual man would. You basically said "I'd rather watch two hot chicks in tights and sports bras roll around than two sweaty dudes hump each others legs."
ghostboner- March 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm
Marloes is the best eva. And also smokin hot. I am in love with that woman. Great interview, except you forgot to ask if she ever felt Cyborg getting a boner when they grappled. And how can you not love the WNBA? Seeing some galumphing chicks try to dunk and get rejected by the front of the rim? It's hilarious!
El Guapo- March 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm
For what it's worth(entire CP Nation in unison "NOT A G'DAMN THING!)I'd rather watch Cyborg, Carano, Marloes, the female Wanderlei, Shawna Bayzler, Warrior Princess, Karate Hottie and a few others fight over Shieldzzzzz or Itchy Fitchy any day of the week, including Sunday. But again, that's just me.
RwilsonR- March 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm
I wonder if Marloes will make all us guys some brownies. I hear they make some delicious brownies in Holland.
KidDinomite- March 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm
"In my opinion, if you have to play [the] full [fight], then you’re the weaker fighter in the cage. If you’re the best, then you win in a convincing way.”

Hey, Jon Fitch, you reading this? Sick burn from a chick, Homie.
RwilsonR- March 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm
I didn't really read the interview, but I this line caught my eye:
“I did it with Roxanne Modafferi because the first time I lost, in my opinion I didn’t lose."
Now that's the spirit! I might actually start to like this women's mma if these chicks start doing it with each other to settle contentious losses.
RwilsonR- March 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm
@ ccman & Smitty - count me amongst the people who have little to no interest in the slower, less skilled version of the sport. I don't really like much of anything about it, and never have. To each his own, I guess.
And sexist jokes is where we are supposed to draw the line of sensitivity here on CP? Bull fucking shit!!! The best thing about CP is that we set the bar so low with our humor that it is impossible to stoop under the level of what is in poor taste.
Besides, we all know Meisha Tate's "injury" was just a yeast infection, and what kind of athletes are these girls if they can't fight with a little crotch cheese?
El Guapo- March 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm
What this "W"NBA you guys speak of?
Smitty- March 4, 2011 at 1:00 pm
@ ccman
I guess I'm burnin in hell wit ya bro. I think your rules for womens MMA should be universal, and can we make that a 4some for the winner. I want the ring girl first cause, she won't be as sweaty. I guess that might be the worse way to go cause, when I get seconds from the female fighter I'll be getting her sweaty from the fight, and all nasty from you doin work on her. Oh well, you gotta take the bad with the good. Fuck a womens MMA, basketball, golf, boxing, and body building. Keep em barefoot and pregnant boys!!!
ccman- March 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm
I have heard the the same arguement as well as the one on 'they still use fundamentals that disappeared in the mens game' one. After Gina v. cyborg? not much else has really peaked my interest. personnal preference not wanting to watch chicks fight. I have no interest in watching midgets fight either, view both as novel at best.
WHAT I DO FIND INTERESTING, is my comment actually drew ire after the hundreds of much worse comments during hot potato posts ect in the past. honestly made my day. nothing makes me happier than watching someone draw a real emotional response/ get upset or offended from a web page.
Austin3210- March 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm

How could you not be interested in womens' MMA? More often than not, their fights are even more exciting than the mens', which makes your reference to the WNBA pretty pointless.