For Alexis Dufresne, it’s about respect.
While the two-time UFC competitor did miss weight badly — she checked in at 150.7 pounds — for her featherweight showdown with Marloes Coenen at Bellator 155 last May, she also took the fight on less than two week’s notice just four months removed from giving birth to her son. That she was able to upset the former Strikeforce queen with a triangle armbar in the opening round of their encounter was not a product of tipping the scales approximately five pounds heavier than her opponent, no matter what the critics — or Coenen, might say. At least that’s how Dufresne sees it.
“Here is the circumstance of how it really was: She was training for a five-round championship fight for a wrestler, a strong grappler in the exact same camp she would have trained for me. She had a full camp for a five-round fight. I had 10 days notice after having a baby and I hadn’t set foot in the gym one time,” said Dufresne, who claimed she depleted herself in the sauna in a last-ditch attempt to make weight. “So I don’t think the [five] pounds of fat made me win and especially didn’t help me to win when I won the fight off my back in my guard. The only time she ever hit me was with an illegal shot in my guard, and it was a headbutt.”
Coenen didn’t necessarily have sympathy for Dufresne’s situation, and according to the Team Quest member, that led to a confrontation before their bout (offshore sportsbooks).
“She was more disrespectful than I could have ever imagined she’d be. She was such a poor sport about that it just makes me want to punch her in the face,” Dufresne said. “I took that fight and I told my friends, ‘I know they’re setting me up to get my ass kicked, but that’s OK. I can take an ass kicking. I need the money for my son.’ I gave her that much kudos. I gave her that respect.
“Then before we even weighed in, I tried to shake her hand. I apologized [for coming in overweight]. She stood me down and tried to fight me there. We’re adults. It’s ridiculous. For me, it’s more about the respect issue and pride. I want to fight her.”
Coenen was to initially have faced Julia Budd for the promotion’s inaugural women’s featherweight belt at Bellator 155. The fight become a non-title affair when Budd suffered an injury and Dufresne stepped in to replace her. Now, Coenen and Budd have been rebooked to vie for 145-pound gold in the Bellator 174 headliner at Winstar Casino in Thackerville, Okla., on Friday night. The evening’s main card airs on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
Meanwhile, Dufresne will take on Gabrielle Holloway on the preliminary draw, which streams on Bellator.com at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. It is the first fight for both Coenen and Dufresne since their meeting at Bellator 155.
“I think it’s weird that I’m on the card with the girl that I beat that is fighting for the title,” Dufresne said. “I think it’s funny that we might be in the same warmup room together. Some things just don’t make sense.”
Assuming she takes care of business against Holloway, Dufresne could be sitting pretty in Bellator’s featherweight division — especially if Coenen defeats Budd. However, even if Coenen were to lose on Friday night, Dufresne is more interested in a rematch with the Dutchwoman than championship hardware.
“I will definitely call her out after my fight. Absolutely. 100 percent,” Dufresne said. “I would rather fight her as a rematch for a non-title bout than a title fight next time. I want my rematch.”