Marloes Coenen and Sarah Kaufman at Strikeforce

Marloes Coenen firing at Sarah Kaufman

“2010 was an emotional rollercoaster for me professionally and private,” admits Strikeforce women’s 135-pound champion Marloes Coenen.

From the low of losing decisively to Strikeforce women’s 145-pound champion Cris “Cyborg” Santos, to the high of coming from behind to submit Sarah Kaufman for her current title, it’s been a year of extremes for Coenen.

When it comes to her performances against Santos and Kaufman, again, things were worlds apart for Coenen.

“The Cyborg-fight was one big lesson to me,” she told “Though I lost, it has boosted my confidence big time. I proved to myself that I am a fighter, don’t give up, and can take a beating.

“The Kaufman fight was different. I had expected more fireworks from her side. To cut a long story short; I am always very critical on my own performance, but I am happy with that fight too if I take all the ‘external’ things in consideration. For my next fight, I want more fireworks… and I’ll make it happen.”

Coenen admits that cutting weight for the Kaufman fight, combined with the possibility of fighting five five-minute rounds has affected the way she approaches fights, most importantly how to conserve energy and fight smarter.

“It is in my nature to go all out, but that isn’t the brightest game plan when you have a championship fight over 25 minutes,” stated Coenen. “I would like to learn the counter better. But what I see is that you are (either) an ‘attack’ or a ‘counter’ fighter, so it will be hard.”

Looking forward to 2011, Coenen’s first title defense is scheduled to be against Miesha Tate.

“She is a good wrestler and controls (her opponents) effectively, but her stand-up isn’t like Kaufman’s,” said Coenen. “My ground game is okay and my wrestling too, so I look forward to measuring our strengths.”

Tate fight aside, Coenen is intent on proving any detractors wrong by putting all her efforts into becoming a dominant world-class fighter.

“(I want to) consolidate my title, keep on training my women’s group, and fight all over the world,” commented Coenen. “The upcoming three years, at least, I will totally dedicate to MMA. I’ll do whatever it takes, and maybe I move to the U.S., we will see.

“2011 will be spectacular, cannot wait for it to start. If there is a theme (for the year) it’ll be ‘Bring it on!’”

After highs and lows dominated her 2010, Coenen looks to gain stability in 2011 and prove she can be the stalwart of Strikeforce’s 135-pound division for some time to come.

“I wish you all the best for 2011,” concluded Coenen. “Believe in your dreams and hang on. The road can be wobbly but when you believe it, you can make it. Happy New Year to everyone!”

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