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Former Strikeforce Champ Marloes Coenen Signs With Upstart Blackeye Promotions

Former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen has signed a new deal, and it's not with her former promoter.

On Friday, the 30-year-old Coenen announced that she has signed a non-exclusive contract with Blackeye Promotions, a North Carolina-based upstart league that has been in existence for less than one year.

"I am very excited to have the opportunity to be part of Blackeye Promotions, as they have an honest passion for the sport and are genuinely committed to building a platform for women in MMA," Coenen said in a statement. "Equality for women in this sport is a cause close to my heart and important to the generations of women fighters that will compete after me. I am happy to be signed with a promotion that not only supports this quest for equality, but is dedicated and committed to making a difference."

Blackeye will produce their next event on October 1 in Fletcher, North Carolina, a show that will feature several women's matches, but Coenen is unlikely to debut until early 2012.

Coenen fought five times for Strikeforce over the last 18 months, going 3-2 during that time. She lost a featherweight title fight to Cris Cyborg in January 2010, but dropped down a division and captured the bantamweight belt by defeating Sarah Kaufman via armbar submission in October 2010. She then successfully defended the belt against Liz Carmouche before losing it to Miesha Tate on July 30.

Just days after that defeat, Coenen was cut after a rift developed between her Golden Glory management team and Strikeforce ownership group Zuffa over business practices.

Coenen is 19-5 overall.

Blackeye Promotions promoted its first show on November 19, 2010, and has produced a total of four events altogether, with its fifth event set for October 1. At least six women's fights have already been announced for that card, which is being promoted as a breast cancer benefit show.

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