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Coenen skips the line

There were rumors floating around that Marloes Coenen was planning on dropping down to 135 pounds to fight in the Strikeforce women’s tournament at Challengers 10. That didn’t end up happening, but what has happened is even more interesting: rather than put her through the one night gauntlet, Strikeforce has decided to just hand her the next shot at the belt.

“Marloes has made the move down to welterweight and she will get the next title fight,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said in today’s official release. “She has proven that she belongs in the cage with our champion. So, after the tournament, we’ll have another legitimate contender to challenge for the title.”

The winner of the tournament becomes the official No. 2 contender and will wait in line behind Coenen.

“We are going to fast-track these four talented prospects in a quest to determine the best in this deep women’s division,” Coker stated. “Having all four women square off on one night with the chance to separate themselves from the pack is what Strikeforce Challengers is all about.

Now I can’t complain too much because I like Coenen and I like women’s fights. More Coenen and more women’s fights makes me a happy fight linker. But the cynic in me sees this as a pretty bald faced attempt to take the belt off Kaufman. Yep, Kaufman. Not that I think Kaufman will win Friday, but Dana White spoke some truth when he said you can usually tell who Strikeforce wants to win based on the bookings they set up. Muscle-sack / Great PPV hope Bobby Lashley or the light heavyweight who’s only fought once in three year? Cris Cyborg or Jan Finney? Herschel Walker or some guy? Erin Toughill or the chick they want Erin Toughill to beat up en route to Cyborg?

The promotion has a history of trying to stack the deck with it’s matchmaking – something that only became pretty obnoxious once they got in bed with Showtime. In this case with Coenen it’s fair enough game – they just wanna make sure the chick with the best chance of taking the belt off Kaufman / Modafferi gets a chance to do it. I just find it funny that they’re once again muddying the message by having a women’s tournament to determine the #1 contender, but oh wait. Make that #2 contender. Woo. Way to make something matter less, guys. Ah well. Coenen / Modafferi 3, here we come.

Marloes is fo’ shizzle a hottie, but she’s got some odd angles on her like a Picasso painting or something.