Photo of Marloes Coenen by Esther Lin for Strikeforce
Despite a perfect 6-0 record, one that includes six straight first-round submission (armbar) finishes, not everyone is convinced her drop to 135 pounds was a natural progression. That includes former division titleholder Marloes Coenen, who tells Punch Drunk Gamer Rousey's featherweight exit was to avoid an eventual showdown opposite Cristiane Justino.
"She is a great grappler. The way she took out Sarah Kaufman was amazing and so unexpected to me. But she does lack balls, she judoed at 154lbs, entered Strikeforce at 145lbs and when she had to fight Cris Cyborg she dropped to 135lbs. Using me as an example. Let me tell you this, I fought Cyborg (and will do so in the future again) and then was asked by Strikeforce to drop to 135lbs. Having said all this, career wise it was really smart of her and she deserves a master in PR. She doesn’t care how she gets there, as long as she gets there. And she’s successful at it, looking at the magazine covers like ESPN and changing Dana White’s mind."
Coenen (20-5) has recently been mixing it up under the Invicta banner, but knows a thing or two about "Cyborg's" power.
The Dutch damsel was pounded out by the Brazilian bomber in their 2010 fight on Showtime before making her own trip south, where she claimed the 135-pound strap in a submission win over Sarah Kaufman -- only to lose it a year later to Miesha Tate.
Justino is currently sidelined after failing her last drug test, which led to a war of words between her and Rousey. Both sides accuse the other of wanting to stay at a "safe" weight. We now know which side Coenen is taking. But is she trying to talk her way into a "Rowdy" fight?
Or just telling it like it is?