After taking a hellacious beating from her opponent for the better part of rounds two and three, Marloes Coenen slapped on a triangle from the bottom and managed to submit a very game Liz Carmouche and retain her women's 135 pound title in a very good fight.
The first round had some slow moments, with Coenen throwing a variety of body and head kicks while Carmouche tried to get inside and land some punches. Carmouche landed one nice counter right, but Coenen landed more overall early. The middle half of the round was spent against the cage, which each looking for a takedown unsuccessfully. Carmouche closed out the round with some landed strikes. Carmouche landed more strikes over the whole round, but Coenen looked more fluid.
Round two started with some exchanges, and led to Carmouche looking for a takedown. Coenen slapped on a standing guillotine that looked deep, but Carmouche popped out and pushed Coenen to the ground. Carmouche took over at this point, dropping big shots on the ground before eventually passing to side and then north/south. Eventually Carmouche got to mount with 90+ seconds left, and landed a ton of big shots on Coenen, who defended well until the end of the round. Could have been a 10-8 round.
The third round looked remarkably like a combination of the first two rounds. Over two minutes was spent with each fighter jockeying for position against the cage, with neither gaining a real advantage. Coenen tried a trip takedown but failed, and soon after Carmouche tried the same thing but she was successful. Falling into side control, Carmouche took all of 10 seconds to get to the mount position and dropped leather for the next two minutes, with Coenen again covering up well but not being able to get out.
Carmouche had dominated the last two rounds, but things went differently in the fourth. Carmouche went for another trip, but has it reversed and Coenen ended up on top. She landed a few shots, but stood up looking for the big shot and Carmouche popped up in ridiculously fast fashion. Carmouche got another takedown, but Coenen quickly locked up a triangle, and after some adjustment, Coenen got the tap out of Carmouche at 1:54 of the fourth round and referee Greg Franklin stepped in to end the proceedings. After getting blasted like that, Coenen showed a ton of heart with the comeback.
Coenen, who trains out of the famed Golden Glory gym in the Netherlands with the likes of fellow main carder Melvin Manhoef and Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem, had little time to prepare for a new opponent when Miesha Tate had to pull out. In her place stepped up Carmouche, a former US Marine who has only 10 months of professional MMA experience. Carmouche came in with a lack of time to get ready, but she also had little pressure on her due to the last-minute change. Carmouche came very close to pulling off the massive upset and has nothing to be ashamed of. She definitely made her mark on the women's 135 pound division tonight, even in defeat.