Invicta FC featherweight challenger Marloes Coenen will have a chance at revenge when she steps into the cage tomorrow night against Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (formerly Santos) in the main event of Invicta FC 6. Coenen recently spoke with MMAFrenzy to discuss a variety of topics including her rematch, the evolution of WMMA, her future, and more. Be sure to check out what the former Strikeforce champion had to say and tune in for tomorrow’s PPV.
You and “Cyborg” originally faced each other in a three-round battle at Strikeforce: Miami in 2010. What will be different this time around with “Cyborg”?
I always train hard and look at new things for opponents. For the first fight, I came in heavier for the first fight and missed weight, I had breakfast the day of weigh-ins and weighed heavy. [The first time] I also underestimated her strength, which was pretty stupid too, and I didn’t do a good strength and conditioning program the first time around. So those are the biggest differences for me this time around.
How have you done so well in rematches throughout your career?
Everytime I lose, I want to fight that person again. So when people ask me what fights I want to do, I say look at who I’ve lost to. When I first fought Roxanne Modafferi, it was a tournament and I made her tap as the bell rang and the referee stopped it. I thought I’d won and, not trying to make excuses, but then I got caught by a left high kick and lost. I was so mad about it.
So the next time I had to fight her was my first fight with Strikeforce and I was so nervous but I was so aggressive because I wanted to finish it in the first round to prove I am the better fighter. [Coenen won that fight via first round arm bar]
We hear a lot about fighters struggling with jet lag when they have to travel across multiple time zones. How have you worked around that?
It’s a “good” jetlag when you fly from Europe to the US, but if you fly from the States to Europe it’s awful and you will feel like a zombie for a few days or weeks. It is something you have to deal with and try not to think about too much otherwise it will feel even worse.
You were involved with WMMA before it was ever popular and now it is exploding in popularity with women even in the UFC and Invicta FC hosting their first ever PPV on Saturday. What has it been like to be a part of that?
When I fought my first fight I was 18, and now I am 32, so it was awhile back and when I was doing it there wasn’t really WMMA, it was just MMA and there were very few fighters. I fought in Japan because that’s really all there was then. Megumi Fujii and them were all there and they have since stopped, or nearly stopped, but I am still here. So when I look back on it, there are two really defining things/people and one is Gina Carano, because she really kickstarted things here in the States, and Ronda Rousey. I really respect her too because of the way she did the marketing, which opened up the eyes of Dana White.
It really helped WMMA, and she is all over the place now and I think that’s good for MMA because you can say “if even a woman can step into the cage , ‘everyone’ can do it” you know? [laughs] That’s just how people think and that’s how it can become more mainstream. But those people have really contributed to the sport.
You guys, the media, are a really big contributing factor to it because you don’t write about the girls, or follow them, then how can the fans know about them. So we really have to thank the media as well.
Have you had any thoughts about fighting at bantamweight (The UFC’s only WMMA weight class) again? or are you planning to stay at your more natural featherweight?
I have fought all over the place, 145, 155, openweight, [etc.]. I really think I am the best at 145. If I look back at when I fought at 135 my first fight was the best because I had a long time to get to weight by training, dieting, and proper rest. Then after that, I did a lot of traveling and I didn’t take care of myself very good. So after all that I had to start training and dieting again, and the weight cut was very hard on my body. I can make 135, but I really need a long period beforehand so I can diet and train at a good pace so I am still strong in the fight.
You last fought Fiona Muxlow for DREAM, where you defeated her via armbar in the first round at DREAM 18. Are you still going to fight in Japan as well or was that a one time thing?
Actually, I am still with Golden Glory, but [Golden Glory’s] Martin de Jong worked with DREAM for their last fight. De Jong also works with GLORY World Series. Anyways, they were partnering with DREAM, for that event, so I don’t know what is happening after that because I was there because of that partnership.
So what is is like being part of Invicta FC from the start and seeing where you are today?
Prior to signing with Invicta I knew Shannon [Knapp] very well and I knew how good she is for MMA. I knew she was sincere about doing this and I know they have their gameplan and to see the cards they have pulled off and the way the girls are fighting, you can see progress. When I was here in April, I saw the production of the event and it was so good. To hear that Showtime was interested about picking up Invicta with Strikeforce now over, I just think the future is very bright. I really want to congratulate Shannon on it.
The Dutch fighting community lost a titan in Ramon “The Diamond” Dekkers earlier this year after he collapsed this past February. Can you tell me what his loss has meant to to the community there?
Everyone in the fighting community here in the Netherlands was sad. I mean he wasn’t a bragger, he came in, he fought, he kicked everyone’s ass, and then he was very polite and a really nice guy. He was such a brutal beast in the ring, but so nice out of it, pretty amazing.
We created a t-shirt for him and a website too, www.diamondfoundation.eu, I only did the t-shirt, the foundation isn’t me. If you order a shirt there the proceeds go to the orphanage in Thailand that Ramon was planning on before passing away.
We had to do something, you know? Everyone was in shock that he passed away and I am always talking about “putting your money, where your mouth is,” so I came up with the t-shirt idea and went to the foundation and they thought it was a good idea. It’s on a roll now.
How cool was it to see Invicta FC honor him in their cage?
It blew me away! I really loved it.
Anything else you want to say?
I really want to say thank you to my fans for having my back on Facebook and twitter. Of course thank you to my sponsors and trainers. Then of course I have to thank my mom and dad.
Invicta FC 6 will air as a pay-per-view in the US and Canada, with the card airing via Ustream outside of those countries. The billing will still be available as an online showing for those without cable in the US and Canada. A strawweight bout between undefeated fighters Claudia Gadelha and Ayaka Hamasaki will serve as the night’s co-headliner.