COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In the battle for Strikeforce women's welterweight championship, Marloes Coenen held onto her belt after being dominated by Liz Carmouche for two rounds at Nationwide Arena on Saturday.
Coenen charged in from the opening bell and landed strikes early, but had a hard time closing the distance. She solved that problem by grabbing Carmouche for a clinch, and landing knees and body strikes. They were separated by referee Greg Franklin (UFC fighter Rich's brother). Coenen landed more punches after the break up, gaining an edge before the horn sounded.
In the second round, Carmouche tried to use her grappling skills to get Coenen down to the ground but found herself in a guillotine. Coenen cranked on her neck and brought the fight to the ground but Carmouche got out and moved to side control. She threw several knees at Coenen's shoulder and then moved to full mount. For the final minute of the round, Carmouche rained down blows. Coenen defended, but was unable to get out from underneath Carmouche's tight grip.
By the third round, Coenen tried to take the fight back with striking, but Carmouche again got a takedown and moved to full mount with more than two minutes left in the round. She used the rest of the round to throw punch after punch, but couldn't finish the bout.
Coenen had the takedown in the fourth round, where she locked in a tight triangle choke. Carmouche had nowhere to go, and the fight was stopped at 1:29.
Carmouche took this bout on short notice after Miesha Tate had to pull out because of injury. She was impressive on less than two weeks notice, and served notice that she is a fighter to watch. She said that she thought she was winning, but couldn't finish.
Coenen was just as impressed.
"I want to make sure everyone gets respect for her, because she will be the champ one day," Coenen said. She also talked about who she wants to fight next.
"Scott Coker is the boss, but Miesha, if you're watching at home, I recommend you."