Wow this is great news, I cannot wait for this fight to happen on Saturday! Roxy!!! I so cannot wait, you are coming back to the US! wooohooo
CHICAGO – While it was initially thought possible, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker made it official: the winner of Saturday’s bout between Marloes Coenen (16-3) and Roxanne Modafferi (13-4) will, in fact, earn a title shot with current 145-pound champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos (8-1).
Coker confirmed the plans with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) on Thursday following a press gathering for Saturday’s "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers" event.
In a preliminary-card bout likely to air (either completely or in part) on CBS, Modafferi and Coenen meet in a rematch from their initial meeting in May 2007.
In the finale of a same-night, eight-woman tournament, Modafferi reigned supreme and posted a split-decision win over Coenen. The rematch comes Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill., (near Chicago). The winner will then meet Santos, who was forced off Saturday’s card because of a shoulder injury. Coker said that title fight is planned for a currently unannounced January event.
Santos won the belt in August by scoring a first-round TKO victory over Gina Carano. Santos was then expected to fight Coenen on Saturday but was replaced by Erin Toughill. And while it seemed likely the Coenen vs. Toughill winner would get a title shot, it wasn’t exactly clear if that was the case once Modafferi, who usually fights at 135 pounds, replaced Toughill (undisclosed medical reasons) and took the fight on a couple weeks’ notice.
"Oh no, it’s definitely a No. 1 contender’s (bout)," Coker told MMAjunkie.com. "Whoever wins this fight will fight Santos."
Coker didn’t have details for that January event. It’s a possibility it could air on CBS, but Coker said any decisions about the 2010 Strikeforce-CBS schedule will be made after Saturday’s event, likely once officials have had a chance to comb through the initial ratings. (Saturday’s event kicks off a multi-event deal between Strikeforce and CBS.)
Modafferi, who recently signed with Strikeforce, enters the organization with a six-fight win streak. However, she’s fought just once in the past 19 fights. Now living in Japan, Modafferi has struggled to find fights overseas and back home in the U.S., where many promoters reluctantly "give gas money … let alone international airfare," she said.
However, after signing a multi-fight deal, she’s hopeful Strikeforce, with its ever-growing female roster and exposure on both CBS and Showtime, will become her long-term home.
Coenen, meanwhile, also makes her promotional debut at Saturday’s event. The Dutch grappler was announced as Strikeforce’s latest acquisition following Santos’ win over Carano in August. Prior to a decision loss to Cindy Dandois in January, Coenen had posted eight wins in a nine-fight span; the lone loss came to Modafferi.
For the latest on "Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers," stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of MMAjunkie.com.