Earlier today STRIKEFORCE CEO Scott Coker conducted a media conference call to promote the organization’s October 9th promotion at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA. Four of the fighters featured on the card (Sarah Kaufman, Marloes Coenen, Josh Thomson and Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante) were present during the call and commented on their upcoming bouts with one another.
STRIKEFORCE Women’s World Welterweight Champion Sarah Kaufman (12-0) is coming off a third round body slam KO over Roxanne Modafferi on July 23rd, and will face perhaps her toughest challenge yet in submission specialist Marloes Coenen (17-4). Coenen is coming down in weight after failing in her attempt to capture the middleweight title from Cris Cyborg for the opportunity to gain the 135 lbs belt from Kaufman.
On dropping weight, Coenen shrugs it off as a concern and is more focused on the quality of her undefeated opponent.
“First of all Sarah is a champion and everyone is asking me about dropping weight,” said Coenen.
“Dropping weight is something I think I can do. I have a great team of experts, who are coaching me so I have a lot of confidence in that. And I really like Sarah’s style, she is serious and really goes for the KO, and that’s my style as well so I really think it will be a great match-up.”
As for the champion Sarah Kaufman, she is thrilled to be stepping up from STRIKEFORCE’s lower profile Challengers Series to a main promotion.
“It’s definitely where the title fight should be,” said Kaufman.
“And I feel that both Marloes and I are at a level that we should be getting this slot and we are going to be putting on a great show and I think people deserve to see it on a bigger stage. I am very happy to be fighting where we are on a bigger card for STRIKEFORCE on SHOWTIME and I think the fans will definitely enjoy the fight and I am not going to let them down.”
When the topic came up about whom STRIKEFORCE Women’s Middleweight World Champion Cris Cyborg will face next, Scott Coker chimed in on the topic.
“We think Cyborg will probably fight in the beginning of 2011. There are new girls that we are talking to every day. There is a girl who actually fights for M1, who is in the mix. There are also a couple girls from Romania, one from Hungary. It is no easy task to fight Cyborg but we will have a good match for her. We will have an announcement in a few weeks regarding Cyborg.”
The match between San Jose’s Josh Thomson (17-3) and Brazil’s JZ Cavalcante (15-3-1) will likely determine the next opponent for STRIKEFORCE Lightweight World Champion Gilbert Melendez. Thomson has already fought Melendez twice in the past, splitting the bouts with a win and a loss. He would obviously like nothing more than to get through Cavalcante and earn a third fight with Melendez, but he doesn’t want it to be a distraction as has been the case in the past.
“The last fight I was thinking about the third fight but the biggest problem was I think that there were a lot of things going through my mind which showed in my performance,” said Thomson.
“It was a really lackluster performance, nothing was put together right. I broke two ribs in the first round and everything went down hill. So this fight what I did was I wiped my mind clean of the title fight. Everyone is talking to me about the Gilbert fight, and I was letting that get ahead of my actual training. You hear athletes say all the time I’ve got to take care of this one match first, and if this doesn’t happen there won’t be a third fight with Gilbert, and I let that hinder what I was doing last time. I definitely won’t be thinking about the third fight. I will be thinking about what is in front of me.”