Former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen has been quiet since losing her championship to Miesha Tate this past July. The highly respectable Dutch martial artist came out of hiding earlier this week, though, when she spoke out regarding the controversy involving the 135-pound division in Strikeforce, largely centered around newcomer Ronda Rousey.
“Ronda was very honest in what she said,” Coenen told Full Contact Fighter. “Ronda certainly has a point, but what I didn’t like from both ladies is the way they were speaking about Sarah Kaufman. It’s okay if you want to present yourself as a supermodel. I have no problem with that. I understand you want to sell tickets, too. But to talk about another woman, about her looks, in a negative way, it’s a big ‘no-no’ to me. You don’t do that in public about someone else.”
Both Tate and Rousey have been praised quite a bit as being two of the most attractive women to compete in the sport. They both have their accomplishments as fighters as well and have made it known that they want to be recognized for that and not their looks, but Coenen believes Tate is going about it the wrong way.
“In the interview, [Miesha] said, ‘Oh I hate it when guys are talking about how they want to do me on the forums,’ ” she recalled. “I’m like, ‘Girl, you created that yourself. If you post a picture of yourself with your pants down, in a thong, looking to the camera... If you’re going to pose in America in a Wonder Woman outfit that’s more of a bikini than something else, that’s the reaction you will get.’ “
The infamous picture has made the rounds on many MMA forums and websites, but Tate may be trying to get past that as she is now a champion in the sport and is trying to gain legitimacy as a top-level athlete. A former champion herself, though, Coenen believes Tate has already cemented her reputation with those pictures alone.
“I’ve got a little niece who is 3 years old. When I am done fighting and when she’s older, I want her to be proud of who I am and what I did. Therefore, I will not pull my pants off and show my ass in a thong to the camera.”
“You can’t present yourself the way [Miesha] presents herself and then expect to get respect as a fighter and as a good girl,” Coenen added. “Ronda is doing the same thing. Ronda wants to be the Chael Sonnen of [women’s] MMA which is a good thing for her. Just go for it. But you will get some critics for that, too.”
Tate and Rousey have been going back and forth with the reasons why they believe Rousey should or shouldn’t get a shot at the title. Tate believes that the new challenger is being disrespectful to her with her insistence of getting a title fight so early in her career.
Coenen agrees, but has a slightly different take.
“Why don’t you fight Cyborg at 145?” she asked of Rousey. “I don’t get that one. Maybe she’s certain enough to fight Miesha, but not certain enough to fight Cyborg. But in my opinion, if you really want a fight, and you’re really a true fighter, you will face Cyborg first. To me, that’s a big test.”
The next fights for Rousey and Tate have not yet been announced, but Coenen is working toward getting back in the cage. This time, she will look to move back up to her original class in the featherweight division.
“I’m going back up to 145 and if I get a chance to fight Cyborg again, I will definitely do that. I didn’t forget about the beating I got,” she laughed. “I feel way stronger at 145 than at 135 because when I’m fighting at 145, I’m taller than most of the girls. I was taller than most of them other than Cyborg. So when I was fighting at 135, I was like one head higher than most of the girls and that was a whole new ballgame for me.”
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