Coenen Trusts Her Striking Against ‘Cyborg’

By John Chandler Jan 21, 2010
Instead of vying for a temporary opportunity to replace Gina Carano as the “Face of Women’s MMA,” Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos and Marloes Coenen are hoping to gain the attention of young potential female fighters around the world.

Santos will make the first defense of her Strikeforce 145-pound title against Coenen in the co-headlining attraction of Strikeforce “Miami” on Jan. 30 in Sunrise, Fla.

“I hope I don’t have to do any office work again,” Coenen said during a conference call with the media Wednesday. “When I grew up, there weren’t that many opportunities for us to fight. There was judo and karate, but that was about it. MMA not only helps you athletically, but it also helps your daily life. I think if women’s MMA continues to grow with the sport, we will be able to inspire others to join in.

“You can see the difference compared to 10 years ago. Women are training with each other, beating each other up and constantly getting better. Instead of the fights either being quickly finished standing or on the ground, you’re starting to see the skill level get higher and higher. Women are going to want to test themselves.”

According to Santos, the pressure of keeping her belt has become higher because of her growing desire to stay involved in the sport after her career is over.

“I’m happy to lead the way for the women in this sport,” Santos said. “I want to continue to improve and hold the belt as long as I can. Eventually I would like to build a team and help my students with their careers. I really can’t wait to train some little Cyborgs. I’m just very excited to be a part of it all.”

As for the fight itself, Coenen brings along twelve career submissions wins compared to six wins via strikes for Santos. Despite many observers suggesting a standup battle with Santos could prove to be a huge mistake for Coenen, the Golden Glory product says that she has no problem exchanging punches on the feet.

“People have been focusing on my ground game but my standup is good,” Coenen said. “My striking is always improving. I put down Roxanne (Modafferi) with one punch and I have knocked out others in my career. I don’t think that it’ll go five rounds at all. Putting the type of fighters we are together, it won’t go the distance. I’m not going to reveal very much of my game plan, but I will say that if the fight goes to the ground, it’s not going to stay there.”
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