The UFC isn’t the first major organization to feature fights between high-level females. In fact, Strikeforce was doing so years ago, albeit on a smaller stage than inside the Octagon. One of the most memorable match-ups from the promotion’s run paired hard-hitting Brazilian Cristiane Justino with Dutch submission-specialist Marloes Coenen. Though Coenen held on for the first few rounds, the bout ultimately resulted in “Cyborg” winning the company’s featherweight title by way of TKO.
The two are set to tussle again in early July at Invicta FC 6 where, according to Coenen, the result should be different in large part based on her belief Justino is no longer using performance enhancing drugs.
“I already thought she was on something when I was fighting her for the first time. But then I was like, ‘Ah, whatever, I don’t care’, you know? But when I was actually in the cage I felt her power and was like, ‘Oh my god I never been hit this hard in my whole life,’” said the 32-year old in an interview with BJPenn.com. “This time I don’t think she’s on the stuff anymore.”
“She looks more feminine now. I also think her strength is less and last time she really out-powered me, so I think this time it will be a very interesting fight,” offered Coenen in terms of her reasoning.
Coenen is 21-5 in her career with wins in four of her five fights since facing “Cyborg” including success against Liz Carmouche and Sarah Kaufman. Meanwhile, Justino is 11-1 with nine knockouts including a finish of Fiona Muxlow last month in her return to the ring after more than a year on the sidelines due to a drug-related suspension and some contractual issues.
PHOTO CREDIT – MMAWEEKLY