Exclusive Interview: Marloes Coenen Talks 135, Sarah Kaufman & Dutch Culture

Derek BolenderSenior Analyst ISeptember 1, 2010

Lose a title fight, get another title fight?

That is precisely the good fortune that was recently bestowed upon Marloes Coenen.

After sustaining a TKO loss at the hands of Cris Cyborg in January 2010 at 145 pounds she will take advantage of yet another opportunity at gold.

This time, however, she will make the trek down to 135 pounds and challenge undefeated champion Sarah Kaufman.

The pair will do battle in Strikeforce’s backyard at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California on Saturday, October 9.

In the meantime, “Rumina” took some time out of her schedule to discuss moving down in weight, Kaufman, Dutch culture, and her hatred for Twitter.

Check it out:


Derek Bolender: I know you’re a big Fedor Emelianenko fan. What did you think of his loss to Fabricio Werdum recently?

Marloes Coenen: It was painful! I still am a Fedor fan just as I still am a Rumina Sato fan or [Kazushi] Sakuraba fan. It’s too bad that Alistair [Overeem] didn't get the fight with him first. I’d really want to see this fight. And please don't ask me who I am cheering for.

Derek Bolender: You’re coming off a loss to Cris Cyborg. You decide to drop down to 135 pounds and Strikeforce immediately grants you a title fight. Were you surprised they were willing to give you a shot at the belt right off the bat?

Marloes Coenen: The loss didn't make me decide to fight at 135 lbs. I still want to fight Cyborg again, because the fight was stopped too early. I do understand it from the referee. Men do not like to see women get hurt. In the next Cyborg fight the referee was a woman. Well, you now can conclude that women do not mind seeing each other hurt.

Derek Bolender: You’re fighting Sarah Kaufman on October 9. When is the last time you fought at 135 pounds? Have you ever competed at that weight?

Marloes Coenen: Never.

Derek Bolender: When you’re not fighting what weight do you walk around at?

Marloes Coenen: I just had a holiday at the Costa Blanca and I am a foodie. The sepia was really nice. Now I am back on a diet again. Normally it is between 66-68 kg (roughly 142 – 150 lbs.). Right now I think I am about 68 kg.

Derek Bolender: Will 135 pounds be difficult for you to make?

Marloes Coenen: The diet will not be fun, but I have a good team in people from Rhino Gym and Andrews’s gym. They work together and are top of the bill. They work a lot with bodybuilders but also coach Alistair, Gokhan Saki, Siyar Bahadurzada, etc...

Derek Bolender: You and Kaufman have a common opponent in Roxanne Modafferi. Kaufman beat her in her last fight. What did you learn about Kaufman from watching the fight?

Marloes Coenen: I saw that fight briefly, to be honest. We will analyze her in the coming period. I have to say that I loved her knockout. Roxanne is a nice girl, but what a beautiful ending it was.

Derek Bolender: If I had to guess I would say that Kaufman does not want to mess around with your submission skills on the ground. I think she will try to turn this into a kickboxing match and stick and move and try to bully you around in the clinch. How do you envision the fight playing out in your head?

Marloes Coenen: I don't care what she wants. I play my game. If she wants to clinch I'm fine with that. I like clinching. After the Cyborg fight I think that I have proven to be able to take a punch.

Derek Bolender: Can you give me a prediction? Will you win by knockout, submission, or by a decision?

Marloes Coenen: I think that Sarah and I are both fierce so it will be an explosive fight.

Derek Bolender: If I told you that you could pass along a message to Sarah right now, what would you say to her?

Marloes Coenen: Love and kisses for her.

Derek Bolender: Let’s switch gears. Most people don’t know much about you outside of fighting. What do you like to do in your free time?

Marloes Coenen: What every girl likes to do—shopping. I live in the center of Amsterdam. It's really nice to stroll around, have a drink, shop, and just relax at the canals.

Derek Bolender: I’ve been reading up on the Netherlands a bit. Every website I go to seems to say that the Dutch are extremely aggressive drivers/cyclists and tend to honk, yell, and curse at one another frequently. This is apparently commonplace. Can you confirm?

Marloes Coenen: Yes, don't meet me cycling through Amsterdam. You have to understand that the tourists think Amsterdam is an open air museum. They instantly forget there is actually traffic. If you have to go from point A to B through the center of town you almost get into an accident because the tourists are high or just don't pay attention. They do not understand the “ring ring” sound of your bell. After the twentieth time you are done with it. A loud "EEEEEE!" does the job. But for the rest, we love the tourists and are proud that they visit our city.

Derek Bolender: You mentioned bikes. It sounds like the majority of the population both owns and uses them as frequent transportation, but that they are stolen quite often. Let’s test this theory. Since you began riding as a kid, how many bikes of yours have been stolen?

Marloes Coenen: In Amsterdam there are more bikes than inhabitants. I have to park my bike in front of my house. Every three months it gets stolen.

Derek Bolender: One final Netherlands-related question. Explain the toast with the sprinkles. That is not something we eat here in United States. Well, maybe if you’re six years old you might. It does sound good though.

Marloes Coenen: It's wonderful! We call it “hagelslag.” It means something like “hard rain.” It is fresh white bread with real butter and hagelslag on it. There is a lot of variation. For instance, when a baby is born the visitors get a cracker with muisjes and butter on it—blue for a boy and pink for a girl. It's with anice instead of chocolate. Explaining this to you I wonder why we give our food these strange names.

Derek Bolender: Before I go, I also have to ask you about Twitter. Many well-known fighters, probably the majority, are on there now. Is there any way I can convince you to sign up?

Marloes Coenen: I made an account in the time I was a marketer for an internet agency. I never posted a tweet. It feels so narcissistic. Like people really want to know that my training session was good, my cat Saartje puked again on the floor, or that my bike is stolen again? I use Facebook, and I do chat with people who start talking to me. 

Derek Bolender: Fair enough. Thank you for your time Marloes. You always come through for me. Best of luck in your upcoming fight.

Marloes Coenen: Thank you Derek. 


Derek Bolender is the lead MMA staff writer for BleacherReport.com. He has also contributed to outlets such as CBSSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, and MMAmania.com.

Follow him on Twitter (@DerekBolender).