This Saturday, Marloes Coenen will have her long-awaited rematch against Cris “The Cyborg” Santos at Invicta FC 6 in Kansas (live on pay-per-view!). We caught up with the submission specialist to see what her predictions are for the fight, and ask her some familiar silly questions. Come back on Friday for our exclusive interview with Cris Cyborg!
This rematch against Cris has been a long time coming – how do you see the fight going?
Hopefully different from last time! No, I’m just kidding. The first time when I was fighting, I didn’t make weight. She came in way heavier and way stronger than I did in the cage. I underestimated her strength. I have a really good strength and conditioning program and I also know what’s coming, so it will be a more even fight.
How would you most like to win? Knockout? Submission?
I always say that I’ll win with a knockout or an arm bar, so I told myself this time, I won’t predict anything, and if I get a belt, I’m happy.
What’s your gameplan for the fight?
The gameplan is top secret, I’m sorry! I will tell you after the fight, but it is between my coaches and me.
Would you say Cris is the toughest opponent you’ve faced in your career?
Yeah, I believe that Cris is the best fighter out there, pound for pound. I want to be known as the best fighter in the world, and if I want to do that, I need to beat Cris. It’s as simple as that.
Which other fighters do you consider very tough right now? Miesha Tate, maybe?
Yeah, Miesha is amazing. I like her, she’s a nice girl. I really like Leslie Smith, and Sarah Kaufman of course is an amazing fighter. There are enough girls out there that are really good, but not all in my weight.
Is it true that you originally started martial arts training because you got scared cycling through the forest?
Yes! You have to imagine, when you’re a 12-year-old girl and it’s very dark and the trees are moving, you know? There’s always talk about creepy men in the bushes - for real! I’ve never seen them, but it’s still to this day a scary road to go to. I wanted to learn to defend myself: My grandfather was a jiu-jitsu instructor in World War II, and I did Brazilian jiu-jitsu for the first time and I fell in love. I was invited to fight in an amateur event when I was 18, and I thought, “I don’t know…” But I did it and I won within 30 seconds! I was invited to fight in Japan and I won again – I gave my opponent a concussion and broke her arm. So then I was offered a place in another tournament with open weight categories – fighting girls who weighed almost 300lbs, as well little Japanese girls who were only 150lbs – and somehow I won the tournament. After winning that tournament, my entire life changed.
You’re known for being a submission specialist; do you have a favorite submission hold?
It’s really funny that people see me for being a submission specialist, because I really like the stand up fighting, but I like arm bars. I can do those without thinking.
Which strikes do you favor?
Well, I’ve got a good straight right, and I love low kicking as well.
What kind of fighters do you find the most challenging? Strikers? Grapplers? All-rounders?
All-rounders, just like what I am. If someone is really good at striking, you can take them down and keep them there. And if somebody on the ground is really good, you keep on your feet. But if somebody can do anything, then yeah, you really have to go all out and do your best and win. So all-rounders are the hardest fighters in my opinion.
What was the last thing you had to apologize for?
I poked a guy training in the eye, and a week later his eye was still red!
What’s your favorite curse word?
It’s Dutch, and it’s really bad, but it’s in Dutch so you can probably write it down: Tering. It’s really bad! In the Netherlands, we swear with diseases, so it’s different than in English. We don’t say, “Ah your mother…” We don’t care if someone says something about our mother, but if you say something with a disease, it’s really bad.
What’s the worst hangover you’ve ever had?
It was quite recently actually - it was when Ronda Rousey was fighting. I went out partying with my friends.
What was your first car?
I didn’t own a car. Oh wait, I did! I didn’t even know. I’m really bad at cars, as long as it has an engine and four wheels I’m O.K. with it. But it was a small car.
Do you have a scar that tells a story?
I have plenty of scars. I’ve got scars on my arms, on my face. I think the biggest scar is on my ears, on my cauliflower ears. It’s all from fighting. Getting hit, getting landed on by people’s hip bones…
Ouch. Do you have a party trick?
I stuff people with food. That’s my only party trick.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever put in your mouth?
Oh God! [Laughs] The biggest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth, um… God. I really have to think about this. A carrot! I don’t know.
What’s the one thing to remember in a fist fight?
Chin down and hands up.
Who was the last person to see you naked?
Roemer - my long time boyfriend.
Finish this sentence: If I ruled the world for a day, I would….
Give everybody a beer!
That is the most sensible answer we’ve ever had.
It was the first thing that popped into my mind!