Whenever you have two of a promotion’s best fighters stepping into the cage with one another, it becomes a must-see matchup. When those two fighters have a history together, the anticipation and intrigue surrounding the fight gets cranked up another notch.
That is precisely the case with Saturday’s Invicta FC 6 main event, as rivals Marloes Coenen and Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (formerly Santos) share the marquee and the cage in a rematch of their 2010 Strikeforce battle that will determine the inaugural IFC Women’s Featherweight Champion.
With no UFC event on the calendar this weekend, you have no reason to miss this enticing encounter.
Marloes “Rumina” Coenen (21-5-0)
Streak: Two consecutive victories
Last Fight: Armbar submission of Fiona Muxlow, Dream 18 (12/31/12)
Notable Victories: Liz Carmouche, Sarah Kaufman, Roxanne Modafferi
Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (11-1-0)
Streak: One victory
Last Fight: TKO of Fiona Muxlow, Invicta FC 5 (4/5/13)
Notable Victories: Marloes Coenen, Gina Carano, Shayna Baszler
Why We Love This Fight
Of everyone who has shared the cage with “Cyborg” over the last four years, Coenen is the only one to not get absolutely demolished. While that may not sound like much of a selling point, keep reading.
These two met under the Strikeforce banner five months after Justino dispatched Gina Carano from MMA, in what was at the time the most high profile women’s MMA fight to ever take place. In the time since then, Cyborg has competed just three times, and spent a year on the sidelines serving a suspension after testing positive for a banned substance after thrashing Hiroko Yamanaka.
As much as Justino looked like a dominant force in her return to the cage back in April, Coenen is a huge step up in competition from Muxlow, and you can be sure the Dutch veteran is looking forward to trying to get her revenge on Cyborg now that the playing field is level.
In addition to being a rematch—and a championship bout—this fight also has ties to the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Division, in a roundabout-kinda-sorta-maybe way.
Since her rise up the rankings, the one fight that has most often been discussed for Ronda Rousey is a showdown with Cyborg. As of right now, that fight is off the table, primarily because the UFC has just one women’s division and Justino has held to her stance that she won’t move down to compete at 135 pounds.
That being said, a matchup between Rousey and Cyborg is the most high profile fight out there for both fighters, and a potential moneymaker for the UFC, so you can be sure that Dana White & Co. will be paying attention to the outcome of Saturday’s main event.
Should Cyborg come away with another dominant victory—and avoid any post-fight issues—she’ll improve her bargaining position, and the cries for a grudge match with Rousey will grow stronger. Yes, the UFC Champion has a date with Miesha Tate on the calendar already, but beyond that, nothing is etched in stone, and while there are others working their way into position to challenge for the belt, you can be sure the UFC would press pause on the title chase to fast-track Cyborg into the cage with Rousey if the opportunity presented itself.
Even with a pair of UFC events and a stacked Bellator card coming at the end of the month, this fight is still one of the best, and one you should not miss.