Coenen apologized to Kaufman for holding the submission after the tap and blamed the referee for a slow stoppage.
Kaufman appeared to have been injured by the hold and the new champ appeared very concerned as the two opponents spoke after the fight.
The first round saw Coenen initiate clinches but fail to control the position. She was looking to attain the Muay Thai plum and land knees to the shorter Kaufman's face. The champ managed to control most of the clinch time though.
The crowd was restless for most of the first two rounds as the clinches against the fence predominated despite numerous restarts by the ref. But late in the second round, Coenen threw Kaufman with a hip toss and was immediately reversed into guard. The round expired as Coenen worked for a submission.
The pattern repeated in the third round as Coenen landed a throw, got reversed and then caught the champ with an armbar.
Defending champ Sarah Kaufman raised a ruckus about fighting on the lower profile Strikeforce Challengers card around her last fight.
Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Noons 2 coverage