Marlos Coenen, Bellator 174. Photo Credit: Bellator mma

Former Strikeforce bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen ended her 17-year fight fighting career last March. The 36-year-old women’s MMA pioneer thought leaving the sport would be harder than it is, but she’s now enjoying the things she couldn’t do as a fighter.

Coenen lost to Julia Budd at Bellator 174 in a high-profile bout to crown the promotion’s first women’s featherweight champion. Afterwards “Rumina” said it would be her last fight, something she had known but had held in for a while.

“Life is treating me pretty well. I knew I would quit fighting for quite a while and I was anticipating, as we say in Dutch, a ‘black hole’. I thought I would be depressed and laying on the couch crying, eating ice cream. But when I came back from the fight, I kind of hit the ground running,” Coenen says.

Coenen has been an analyst for Dutch FOX Sports since the UFC started broadcasting in the Netherlands in March 2015 and also does a lot of media work for Spike TV, the Dutch home of Bellator and WFL.

“A lot of opportunities came up, because people thought ‘Now, let’s take our chance’,” Coenen jokingly says.

“And I’m feeling very good. I have my gym in Amsterdam, I’m working for Spike, my book will be published on November 10th and I have a documentary coming out, which is a little bit of a secret. The plan is for that to premiere at a documentary festival. A lot of things are happening right now, I’m very happy.”

Coenen adds that she hasn’t thought about coming back since her last bout, mainly due to physical problems: “I’ve been overtrained for over a decade, but could never tell about it because I was sick. A neurologist told me I probably had some virus or whatever, so I started searching.

“For more than a decade I searched for a pill to get healthy again. Most of the time I was in a ring or cage, I was nauseous, I had vomit in my mouth, I was tired,” Coenen says.

“And that was just fighting, it wasn’t even the training camp. The training camp was one big agony. I’ve hurt my body more than enough and it’s time to respect it.”