This Friday Marloes Coenen will battle Annalisa Bucci in the Bellator cage, stepping foot into the ring for the first time since her loss to Cris “Cyborg” Justino at Invicta FC 6 in July of 2013. It was the second time that she met Cyborg and the second loss, with Marloes taking well over a year off to contemplate what we imagined being the meaning of life. When Scott Coker took over the reigns of Bellator he immediately brought in some familiar names both behind-the-scenes and in the ring, with Marloes Coenen being one of those names.
For Marloes this is an interesting situation to be in, where a promoter has shown that he believes in her, which has to be a driving force for a fighter like her. “Quite honestly, I don’t know what drives or motivates me,” she admitted. “It’s just how I am. I never realized that there is a stop-option when I am training and fighting. With Bellator, I want to inspire other women to fight and I want to make Scott Coker satisfied that he chose to sign me again.”
There has been a clear evolution in the MMA world since Marloes began fighting back in 2000. Early on she was known for her grappling skills, even being seen as a female incarnation of Japanese MMA and grappling legend Rumina Sato; “Back in the day in Japan they called me ‘Female Rumina’ after Rumina Sato who won on a flying armbar, which inspired me to win on that technique as well,” Marloes explained. “‘Female Rickson’ was also a name the Japanese gave me.”
Things have changed since then, though.
“What distinguishes me from other fighters is that I am solid overall: I can Thai box, wrestle and do the ground game,” clearly showing that she’s evolved since those days of being Female Rumina. “Also I am mentally strong and experienced.”
Marloes is never satisfied, though. A staggering 15 of her 21 wins have come via submission, with only three coming from knockout, which still bothers her. “Actually I want to amp up my KO-ratio in Bellator. My trainer always laughs when I win but not on a knockout. He knows how frustrated I am about this. And I hope I can help to build the division(s) by attracting more women to Bellator and help to build the brand.”
Most importantly, she doesn’t want to leave her fights in the hands of the judges, which has only happened five times in her 27 fight career. “I never want to leave in into the hand of the judges!” She also reiterated that she’s looking to show off her striking prowess on Friday, ”And I prefer a KO over a submission.”
As for Annalisa Bucci, she will be in for the battle of a lifetime against the very experienced Coenen. “Annalisa Bucci is a good Thai boxer. Her kicks are strong, especially her head kicks and front kicks. She also knows how to change levels,” Marloes complimented, although she did see holes in her opponent’s game. “Her ground game needs improvement though, and she doesn’t have my experience in fighting on big shows, nor does she have my speed and power.”
With Marloes looking for a knockout win, it will be interesting to see what happens on Friday. She’s admitted that Annalisa Bucci is a strong muay thai fighter with holes in her ground game. Those holes could easily be taken advantage of by Marloes, but Coenen is looking to make a big statement on Friday and looking for a knockout win, which means that anything could happen. This is definitely a good opportunity to tune in to see one of the best female fighters of all time step into the ring yet again.