145 lbs: Cristiane Santos vs. Marloes Coenen
Odds: (-550 Cyborg /+375 Coenen)
The semi-main event is a top-level women’s bout which features Strikeforce’s undisputed top female fighter, Muay Thai wrecking machine Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, defending her crown against tough competitor Marloes Coenen. Santos is a nightmare on her feet, but Coenen has shown considerable submission prowess, so this is an interesting stylistic matchup as well.
Marloes Coenen, a Dutch grappling phenom, is one of the most effective female submission artists in the sport. She has also shown some power in her punches, but in the striking game she is not even remotely on Cyborg’s level. For Coenen to have a chance in this fight, she is going to have to get this fight to the ground somehow, whether it is with a takedown or by pulling guard.
Taking down Cyborg may prove a difficult proposition. Undeniably the most physically imposing female fighter in the world, Cyborg’s strength and power are going to make her incredibly hard to get down. Even if it does happen, it’s not like Santos is out of her element in the grappling game, being a fairly accomplished grappler herself, although nowhere near as dangerous as Coenen. The biggest gap in this fight, though, is going to be on the feet, where Santos is leaps and bounds beyond Coenen.
Stylistically, I think Cyborg is the clear favorite in this fight. For Coenen to have any chance, she is going to have to take Cyborg down, which is going to be really hard not only because of Cyborg’s size and power, but because to get close enough she is going to have to wade through Cyborg’s punches and also risk getting tied up in a clinch game, which she really does not want to do. Coenen is a very skilled and technical fighter, but so was Gina Carano, and she was destroyed in under one round. I predict the same fate for Coenen.
Fight Prediction: Cris Cyborg via first round TKO.
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