Bellator 130’s main card includes Emanuel Newton’s second title defense, the return of TNA-MMA corssover sensation Bobby Lashley, and the promotion’s first women’s featherweight feature fight. Marloes Conenen and Annalisa Bucci were signed to Bellator over the summer, joining the three other female fighters currently on Bellator’s WMMA roster. Here’s what we can expect from the two featherweights making their Friday debut.
Marloes Coenen (21-6) is yet another former Strikeforce fighter to follow Scott Coker to the Bellator banner. Coenen won the Strikeforce women’s bantamweight championship in 2012, successfully defending the title against Liz Carmouche. Coenen has taken an overwhelming 18 of 21 wins by finishing the competition, submitting 15 opponents in her MMA career. Coenen has not competed since July of last year (4th round TKO loss to Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino), but you can bet that she will rise to the occasion with a new career opportunity under her former employer.
Annalisa Bucci (7-3) is an Italian fighter with a strong pedigree in the kickboxing world. Her strong suit will be her Muay Thai skills, but she also fights a well-rounded game. Over the course of her 10 MMA fights, 3 of her 7 victories have come by a submission victory. Standing or on the ground, she makes a good competitor for Coenen though she does not have the same level of experience. Before Coenen can work for another submission victory, she will have to face Bucci’s kickboxing expertise.
As Coenen tells MMA Junkie, “Annalisa Bucci is a good Thai boxer,” “Her kicks are strong, especially her head kicks and front kicks. She also knows how to change levels. Her ground game needs improvement though, and she doesn’t have my experience in fighting on big shows, nor does she have my speed and power.”