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Noons could be Diaz’s first opponent in EliteXC

I was a guest on Fight Network Radio with Mauro Ranallo today. Mauro and I discussed a number of topics and Mauro revealed that K.J. Noons has been discussed as a possible opponent for Nick Diaz on EliteXC’s next card slated for September 15 in Honolulu.

I want to stress that Mauro didn’t say the match was signed, only that Noons is receiving consideration for the bout. He did mention that the bout would be contested at 160 lbs., if signed.

The potential matchup makes only a little bit of sense to me. Noons is a strong prospect who was finally able to show off his boxing skills to a mainstream MMA audience this past Friday vs. Edson Berto. The performance was impressive, but Noons simply isn’t ready for Diaz. Not by a long shot.

On the other hand, I understand the potential logic. Diaz won’t be fighting for Zuffa so right now he’s contracted only to EliteXC. Coming off what had been a win this past February against Takanori Gomi (the decision was overturned after Diaz tested positive for marijuana), Diaz has a chance to be one of EliteXC’s signature stars. They need to have him start fighting again as soon as he’s eligible.

With the way their roster is aligned now, the only other candidates to face Diaz are Victor Valenzuela, Edson Berto, and Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett. Berto is coming off a loss and Bennett is rumored to be finally rematching Valenzuela on the 9/15 card. Unless EliteXC brings in a fighter off roster, Noons is really the only choice.

11 COMMENTS
  • says:

    That is one hell of a debut fight for Diaz and it should be a great fight too I think. I didn’t get a chance to tune into the show, how did it go?

  • says:

    The show went great. Mauro has been involved with radio and TV since a young age so he’s a total pro. I always have fun talking MMA with him.

  • says:

    Wow – I’ve watched both of Noons’ EliteXc fights and I agree that he isn’t ready for Nick. Could be a first round submission.

  • says:

    hm. i could see Diaz totally destroying this guy…especially if it ends up on the ground. does Noons have anything on the ground? Diaz is no slouch in striking either, even on the ganj he was peppering Gomi badly. if you hit Gomi hard enough to make him shoot, you’ve done some serious damage.

    on a side note, is Gomi for real as a lightweight stud? he seems to gas awful quick sometimes. i have trouble imagining him fighting a guy like spencer fischer, much less sean sherk or a dude like clay guida, who was bouncing off the cage AFTER he went three ballsout rounds with Griffin.

  • says:

    Is EliteXC even in the running for Gilbert Melendez? Him vs. Nick Diaz could be a huge draw for them, even in Hawaii. A big name Japanese fighter might also spur up some interest across the pacific… Shinya Aoki and Kawajiri are in the wind when we last heard, why not try to get them? Its amazing we aren’t hearing more about the free agent market.

  • says:

    I don’t see Nick being able to take Noons down. Berto has a fairly strong wrestling background and he was stuffed with ease. This will probably be like the Lawler/Diaz fight, but this time, I see KJ winning the stand up and taking a UD.

  • says:

    “I don’t see Nick being able to take Noons down. Berto has a fairly strong wrestling background and he was stuffed with ease. This will probably be like the Lawler/Diaz fight, but this time, I see KJ winning the stand up and taking a UD.”

    Takanori Gomi can’t beat Diaz on the feet and KJ Noons can? Hardly.

    The only fighters to defeat Diaz by deciding to stand with him are Jeremy Jackson and Joe Riggs. Diaz lost that fight early in his career and we all know what a powerhouse Riggs is at welterweight. Even then it was still a very competitive fight.

    Diaz would crush Noons and with authority on top of it.

  • says:

    Aoki would be an incredible matchup for Nick. I’d lay out the cash for that fight alone. Elite could make serious progress toward being a top org if they were able to pull off a few coups like signing Aoki, Sok (I know they almost signed him), etc. I’ll be honest – I saw the Shamrock/Baroni fight as more of a “freakshow” fight than a serious MMA fight.

    Garth – I think you make a fair point about Gomi. According to those close to the fight game Gomi really is one of the hardest punchers around 160 lbs, so would be very dangerous early in the round. I think the 5 minute rounds would work to his benefit in the UFC.

  • says:

    […] Sam Caplan: KJ Noons could be Nick Diaz’s first opponent in Elite XC […]

  • says:

    Rumor is Noons probably can’t fight due to a possible broken hand and this fight will not be happening, at least not on September 15th but possibly later this year for Diaz’s second Elite XC fight.

  • says:

    “Takanori Gomi can’t beat Diaz on the feet and KJ Noons can? Hardly.

    The only fighters to defeat Diaz by deciding to stand with him are Jeremy Jackson and Joe Riggs. Diaz lost that fight early in his career and we all know what a powerhouse Riggs is at welterweight. Even then it was still a very competitive fight.

    Diaz would crush Noons and with authority on top of it.”

    I disagree. This fight will play out on the feet and Noons will use his superior boxing skills to pull out the UD. It should be a war though.

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