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Notes from ground zero – on the scene at “Strikeforce: Miami”

Photo courtesy of Esther Lin / Strikeforce

SUNRISE, Fla. – All the fighter’s looked to be in good shape and ready to go last night at the weigh-ins. The stare down of the night was between Cyborg and Marloes Coenen. Officials had to pull them apart from their intense focus on each other. After the weigh-ins both women went back to being calm and collected, walking around with their entourages, giving the fans photo opportunities with them.

This fight is going to be a live one. When I got a chance to meet up with Marloes these were some of her views on the upcoming fight, “You know if you want to be a champion you have to beat the champion. To be honest I want to knock her out,” said Coenen.” That would be the best, but you know I wanted to do that with Roxanne, and I had to change my game plan. So I ended up winning on the ground. It has been ten years for me in this sport and now a fighter has come up that is really going to test me.”

Marloes gave credit to the women who have come before her in the big shows for bringing MMA to a bigger audience,”I truly think that I am here because Gina did such a good job promoting it,” she said. ” The term women’s MMA is quite ridiculous because MMA is a sport and everyone can do it. I am doing it and you are doing it. We do not do different techniques than men. When the women start fighting everybody is going nuts. Thanks to Gina for really starting to bring it to bigger audiences, we can continue by giving good fights and inspiring more women. If more women can relate to the women who are fighting and we as fighters are able to do that then I can see a big future for women’s MMA.”

Photo courtesy of Esther Lin / Strikeforce

Nick and Nate Diaz offered more details on how they felt about Nick’s main event fight and why Nick feels so confident for this and all of his fights in MMA. Nate said,”You know he is fighting a tough opponent that’s for sure. It is going to be a good fight no doubt. Nick is ‘the man’ in every fight. We will watch him do his thing in the cage and I really want to watch what he does.”

Nick had a few more words for us on what he will be bringing to the ring, “I am focusing everywhere in the ring. I feel like that is why I fight at the best of the best. I like the sport of triathlon in my training. I am an endurance athlete. It’s bike, swim, run, and I am pretty well-rounded in each. In fighting, it is the same. I am very balanced. My stats are high all around in MMA. A lot of fighters have spikes in different areas and are not balanced throughout. I think that is why it will be hard to fight me.”

When I got a chance to speak with Bobby Lashley about his fight against Wes and what he wants to bring to the sport of MMA this is what he had to say, “I kinda want to be a staple. I want to get a title shot. I want to be in this for a while. I want to be a champion in one of these organizations. After all we are not here just to fight and get wins and losses on our record. Everyone has hopes of winning that big fight that big title. I want that.”

Another phenomenal fighter on the card, Robbie Lawyer had this to say about his heavy hitting striking style, “Some guys think it comes natural to me. I think it comes from my mind and what I want to do when I hit a guy. Tomorrow I will not be wanting to hit him, I will be wanting to crush him with my strikes.”

Photo courtesy of Esther Lin / Strikeforce

Later after the weigh-ins and crowds had died down I got another chance to speak with Herschel,”I am excited about the fight. l feel good about it,” said Walker. “I have had good trainers and I am ready to go. My conditioning never left since I was playing football. I really kept that up. When I got to the gym at AKA I was at that conditioning level that I needed to be, to be able to have that open mind and pick up different things. I feel good about my training camp and I am ready for this fight.”

Herschel introduced me to some friends of his from AscendHealth that came down to support him during the fight. Randy Kanechi had this to say about working with Herschel, “He is always doing something to give back which is why he is the perfect fit to be our spokesperson. He really cares about mental health and particularly what he can do for soldiers coming back with PTSD,” said Kanechi. “Sometimes we will try to reach him for awhile and then when we do we find out he was in Iraq doing something with the soldiers there. He is always doing something to make the lives of others better.”

Herschel looked good and relaxed the night before the fight. I think I was more tired than he. I look forward to seeing his and the rest of the fight card! We will be keeping you posted with a play by play during the prelims and main card, and if you have Showtime, check out the fights starting at 10:00 p.m. ET.

You can read more of Tami’s “Strikeforce: Miami” coverage and discussions with fighters here.

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