Golden Glory Reps Discuss Strikeforce Sale, Miesha TateOn March 5th, Strikeforce Women’s Welterweight Champion and Golden Glory standout Marloes Coenen rallied to submit Liz Carmouche in round four. One week later, she and trainer Martijn de Jong were shocked to learn that Strikeforce had been purchased by UFC parent company Zuffa, LLC.

Like many others, Coenen and de Jong are waiting to see what will come of the acquisition of Strikeforce, and both remain cautiously optimistic about what the future may hold. They share their thoughts on the sale and future plans, as well as the growing rivalry between Coenen and Miesha Tate.

Following the announcement that Strikeforce had been sold, fans, fighters and media alike all began to speculate on the future of women’s MMA and the female divisions in Strikeforce. UFC President Dana White, who previously stated that women would never fight in the UFC, seemed to indicate that nothing would change in that regard, which raised the question as to what would happen to Strikeforce’s female athletes if a Strikeforce/UFC merger were to take place in the future.

As the majority of the MMA community was, both Coenen and de Jong were surprised when they first heard of the sale. “Holy crap, didn’t see that one coming!” de Jong says of his reaction.

Coenen initially felt the same way, but her focus quickly turned to what could be done to further the cause for the future of women’s fights in both Strikeforce and the UFC.

“I think we ladies really have to work hard to change Dana’s mind,” Coenen says. “On the other hand, Dana is a savvy businessman. To him, the females in MMA can be a nice niche market for a potentially big target audience. Now, mostly men are watching MMA, but with the right role models more women will be interested.

“They need to have [women] whom they can relate to,” she continues. “I see it in my own training for girls. Women are so insecure, but once they discover their strength and believe in what they can do, no one can stop them and they become really passionate. I believe that they are the most loyal fans in the game.

Coenen concludes, “I love Strikeforce, [and] the people of the organisation are so kind. Having said that, I am a professional fighter. I will fight anywhere.”

De Jong adds, “I am a big fan of the UFC and like how they promote the fighters. We recently signed Jon Olav Einemo with the UFC and we hope to sign more athletes soon! We never spoke about the possibility of [Golden Glory fighters] fighting in the UFC and kickboxing at the same time [a practice currently permitted under Strikeforce contracts], but I think we should take one step at a time.

“Yes, I am,” de Jong states when asked if he is worried about the future of women’s MMA, “but up until [a potential Strikeforce/UFC merger] I will stay positive as women’s fighting draws a lot of viewers and offers great fights!”


Coenen is coming off of an incredible victory against last-minute replacement opponent Carmouche in a fight that was hailed by critics as one of the best female bouts in MMA history. The enthralling fight saw Coenen, down on the scorecards, rally to submit Carmouche with a triangle choke to retain her title in a fashion some compared to Anderson Silva’s thrilling win over Chael Sonnen in the UFC.

It was the sort of fight that fans of women’s MMA could point to as an example of why women should be allowed to compete alongside the men in the UFC.

Originally training to face Miesha Tate, Coenen had to change focus when Tate suffered a knee injury less than two weeks before the fight. “Of course [the change affected me],” Coenen says, “but we believe that when you are a fighter you always show up. Ramon Dekkers fought Duane Ludwig with a torn muscle in his right arm and still knocked him down…that is an inspiration for me.” She added that training was different, as Carmouche’s striking is better than Tate’s.

Rather than stand and trade with Coenen, however, Carmouche took the fight to the ground in rounds two and three and rained down punches from mount. Though Coenen blocked many of the strikes, it was perhaps a pre-fight conversation between de Jong and the referee that prevented a premature stoppage.

“Martijn told the referee up front that if I defended my head from the guard, he shouldn’t stop [the fight] too soon as long as I defended. [That was] pretty weird because he had never said something like that to a referee before,” Coenen recalls.

“I was a little pissed off, as it didn’t go as we planned,” adds de Jong, who was in Coenen’s corner for the fight. “However, I always stayed confident that her experience would pay off and knew that she was going to win eventually. I knew that Marloes could finish the fight like [the way] she did. Marloes is a very seasoned fighter and always fights for the win by KO or submission. Never to just stay in there…”


Discussion turns to Coenen’s original opponent, Tate, who drew the ire of Golden Glory after comments made before and just after Coenen’s successful title defence.

“My whole issue with Miesha was that she knew that she wasn’t going to fight (as I also knew by that time) and she still kept promoting the fight up until minutes before the annoucement by Strikeforce and Showtime,” says de Jong. “I mean, not letting anybody know anything before the official announcement and promoting [the fight] like crazy on radio shows, Twitter and interviews are two different things.

“Besides that, she said on Twitter that she was back in training again a little less than a week before March 5th and then [she was] calling out Marloes after her win? Despite everything, I really do hope Miesha’s injury will heal soon and that she will be able to fight Marloes soon again.”


Of the war of words and ongoing rivalry, de Jong hopes that it will create added interest in an upcoming fight between Coenen and Tate so that “something positive comes out of this whole situation.”

For Coenen, what transpired was not personal, but Tate remains firmly in her sights.

“I believe Miesha is a nice girl. I have no personal [negative] feelings towards her. As a person, I am not that interested in her, [but] as a fighter, Miesha will get what she deserves…and I will bring it to her.”


While Team Golden Glory remains optimistic about the future of Strikeforce following its sale, de Jong is focused on his own upcoming event on Saturday. The second round of the 2010-2011 United Glory World Grand Prix MMA and kickboxing tournament takes place in Belgium. The event will stream live and will later air on HDNet on April 1st.


  1. WMMA is dead as of now.

  2. yah marloes rocks. she is one awesome women, her last four fights have all been stoppages , arm bar win against moderferrie, tko stoppage loss against cyborg(personally i think this was stopped too soon as marloes was moving and blocking and its her way of fighting )arm bar win against kaufman for the title , and then most recent triangle win against carmouche to retain her title. this last fight show caes womens mma the best, how could anyone who is a fan of mma ( whether or not they like women fighting) deny that these women have skills , heart and always put on interesting fights. i know lorenzo fertitta has been out spoken about liking wmma so i believe in a couple yrs we might have a couple womens div. it only takes 15- 20 women in a div to run a competitive div. if the ufc wants to say they have the best fighters , they will have to include women because if thjey don’t someone else will and that will be money the ufc is losing out on( and they didn’t get this big with out grabbing every source of money they can)anyway marloes is a really good representative of wmma , she can fight , she looks good , and she is articulate.

  3. Marloes hits it right on the head when she says “I think we ladies really have to work hard to change Dana’s mind”, and also when she says “…with the right role models more women will be interested”.

    Her insight into training girls into winners is right on the money as well, I have seen that once they realize that they can stand and deliver with the best of them, their confidence explodes and a fighter is born.

    It’s a Catch-22 when Dana says that the divisions aren’t deep enough, yet we can’t get any exposure to the great female fighters we have that have worked so hard to get where they are at.

    If more girls saw the dedication and talent that already exists in Women’s MMA, they would get involved in greater numbers (just like the original surge in Men’s MMA after the first UFC bouts). After all, MMA in general wouldn’t have taken off if it didn’t get televised! I bet that its’ popularity (and Dana’s bank account) grew exponentially once Spike started making fights available to the masses.

    Hopefully Bellator will see the light and start televising girls’ bouts on MTV2. If they do, they could corner the market and differentiate themselves from the rest of the smaller promos, and actually make a run at the UFC’s fan base.

    I think Women’s MMA and Girl’s Wrestling is a good thing for many reasons, which I spell out here:

    I hope the girls don’t lose hope, and that we see lots of great scraps in the coming months (even if we have to use YouTube to see them!). We should support MMA in all its’ forms if we want to see it grow and spread to all 50 states…


  4. Awesome article