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Marloes Coenen talks Bellator signing and says Carano fighting Rousey at 135 would 'kill her career'

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Marloes Coenen talks to Bloody Elbow about signing with Bellator as well as other big WMMA rumors such as Ronda Rousey vs. Gina Carano.

Esther Lin/Strikeforce

Top female featherweight Marloes Coenen was today announced as the latest signing to the Bellator MMA roster, along with counterpart Julia Budd.

The signing had been rumored in recent days but was only made official today via a post on the Bellator MMA website.

Coenen spoke to Bloody Elbow from her gym in Amsterdam, Netherlands following news of her signing becoming official.

BE: Hey Marloes, long time no see! Congratulations on signing with Bellator. You must be excited about getting back to action after being on the sidelines since July last year?

I’m really happy. I have been inactive for so long, not through choice, and now with Bellator and Scott Coker I know great thing are going to happen. I can’t wait to get back in the cage.

The inactivity was frustrating. An event was announced, then postponed... but I have nothing negative to say about Invicta. They do a great job and I am really rooting for them. It’s just that for me as a fighter it was frustrating not to fight. I had a date, would be working towards the date, then it was postponed, it was really exhausting.

Now I know will be fighting for definite and I have got my sprit back. I really can’t wait. I am very happy that Julia got signed too and I am very curious who will be signed next.

BE: Funny you should say that because there have been a lot of rumors that Gina Carano would also be rekindling her old relationship with Scott Coker and signing with Bellator MMA...

If Gina is smart she will sign with Bellator. She can fight at 145lbs, she won’t have to cut to 135lbs, it is a more normal weight for her. She had a lot of problems making 145lbs and I have fought at 135lbs and I know how bad that made me feel, so for her... I think she can show her talent better at 145lbs and I really want to fight her.

BE: What do you think about the UFC’s proposal to have Carano come off a five-year layoff and straight into a title fight against an ultra-dominant champion ten pounds below her usual fighting weight?

I think if she wants to kill her career she should take that 135lbs match with Ronda Rousey right away. I think for her it would be more interesting to go to Bellator and fight at 145lbs and win a few fights, then see where she is up to.

BE: By coincidence both Rousey and Carano have been making headway in their movie careers of late. Why haven’t you headed for the Hollywood hills?

Haha! I don’t think Hollywood wants me! No, I’m a Dutch woman so maybe that is a factor.

But I remember when Ronda Rousey was first getting out there I was like ‘oh my god, what is it with this girl?’ But then I met her in Japan and she was such a sweet girl. I don’t say that I agree with everything she does but she is making a name for herself and I respect that.

BE: Do you respect her as a fighter or is her opposition too easy? (And I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way).

Her last fight was amazing, I really enjoyed watching that, but I think she really needs to be tested. She started with judo at 155lbs, then Strikeforce at 145lbs and then there were rumors she was to fight Cyborg so dropped to 135lbs...

I think a lot of girls are overwhelmed when they face her, they aren’t able to deal with that pressure and so they are nervous because of all the build-up and all the crowd rooting for her. She’s really good but I want to see her tested by a more seasoned fighter.

I am not saying the competition is bad but the pressure, with all the media and stuff like that, it can be very hard. Ronda has to be mentally very strong to deal with that kind of pressure and her opponents have to as well. But I think Cat Zingano can do a great job.

BE: What about Cyborg, do you think we will see her joining you in Bellator’s 145lbs division?

If she is smart she goes to Bellator but maybe she will stay with Invicta, who knows? I see she is going to fight at 135lbs now and I really hope she has a doctor to help her make that cut, I really mean that. that’s from my heart. It is going to be so hard.

But it would be great if she came to Bellator. I would be there, Julia there, Cyborg, Gina... it would be the old Strikeforce days again. It would be a really good division.

BE: The fact that Scott Coker has taken over from Bjorn Rebney as CEO, is that a positive in your mind?

Yeah definitely. When I was fighting for Strikeforce the vibe was very relaxed, how people treated you and how they talked to you.

The same way that the culture of a gym is decided by the trainer, if you have a jackass you will have a lot of negative people there but if the trainer is good there will be a nice warm atmosphere. I think maybe it is the same with the CEO of a company.

I know Scott is very relaxed and calm and I really like that.

BE: So according to the Bellator website you will be fighting Budd later this year. Ready to get back in there?

I haven’t got a date for the fight yet but obviously the news was just announced today so I guess something will come out soon. [The fight] won’t be in September I can tell you that.

I am really looking forward to it. I am going to study her and train really hard. I hope I can bring back the old Strikeforce moments.