The rivalry between K.J. Noons and Nick Diaz dates back to a 2007 doctor’s stoppage in their original meeting and a series of subsequent run-ins, though a recent five round war has turned both fighters’ focus towards other opponents with Jorge Masvidal lined up next in the case of Noons.
However, if the 10-3 striker is able to get by Masvidal on June 18 at “Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum” it appears he will likely cross paths once again with Diaz, only this time with the outspoken welterweight title-holder cornering 155-pound champion Gilbert Melendez rather than personally playing the role of in-ring adversary.
Noons laid out the contendership plan in an interview on MMAWeekly Radio where he also revealed he was originally set for a crack at divisional gold last year before getting an opportunity to settle the score with Diaz.
Though victory over a fighter of Masvidal’s caliber is anything but guaranteed, the decision to set up a bout between Melendez and Noons would make sense given the history between camps, as well as his success at lightweight including four consecutive wins and TKOs of Yves Edwards and Jorge Gurgel.
Masvidal is 21-6 in his career and was most recently seen outpointing Billy Evangelista in March at “Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson”. In addition to the then-undefeated Evangelista the 26-year old holds wins over the aforementioned Edwards, Ryan Healy, Satoru Kitaoka, and Joe Lauzon.
PHOTO CREDIT – ELITEXC/STRIKEFORCE