K.J. Noons. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
When reports began circulating over the past few weeks that a much-anticipated rematch between EliteXC lightweight champion K.J. Noons and Nick Diaz could place on October 4th on CBS, Diaz’s camp quickly stated that there was a strong possibility that Noons’ camp may not accept the fight if it was offered.
It turns out that they were right.
According to MMA Weekly, EliteXC VP Jared Shaw has revealed that Noons’ management camp refuses to return any of EliteXC’s phone calls in an attempt to set up his next title defense. Even more unfortunate for the organization is Noons’ rumored to be more interested in a return to boxing rather than continuing his winning ways in MMA.
“Nick Diaz is the number one contender and K.J. Noons should step up and be the champion that we think he is and take this fight,” Shaw said. “Nick Diaz will take this fight any place, anywhere. (Noons’ management) won’t even return our calls. I don’t understand it. This fight on CBS is maximum exposure and the opportunity for maximum sponsorship dollars, way more than he could make on Showtime. At this point, I question his management.”
K.J. Noons, Gary Shaw, and Nick Diaz. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
A much-anticipated rematch between EliteXC lightweight champion K.J. Noons and Nick Diaz could take place at the organization’s third edition of “Saturday Night Fights” on CBS, which will take place on October 4th at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida.
Graciefighter.com, which is run by Diaz’s trainer and manager, Cesar Gracie, reported the news yesterday morning. However the site has also noted that there is a strong possibility that Noons’ camp may not accept the fight. If the proposal is turned down, Diaz could then set his sights on a DREAM welterweight title bout against Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, but the promotion’s officials have yet to pay Diaz following his win over Katsuya Inoue in May.
The feud between Noons and Diaz vaulted to an all-time high following Noons’ successful title defense over Yves Edwards at EliteXC’s “Return of the King” event in June, where a near-brawl broke out between the Diaz brothers and Noons’ father, Karl Sr. Order was restored relatively quickly and no one was injured. Still, a war of words has ensued between the two camps ever since.
Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
The negative fallout from EliteXC’s second show on CBS is continuing. Yesterday the UFC and Spike TV blasted the organization for drawing lesser numbers on their network television broadcast than a replay of UFC 84: Ill Will in certain demographics last Saturday night. Gary Shaw and Doug DeLuca’s resignation from ProElite were also announced on Tuesday as well.
One of the things EliteXC heads DeLuca and Jeremy Lappen continually harped on in the weeks leading up to the event was the tremendous ticket sales they were enjoying. DeLuca stated that five days out from the event, they had already sold half of the available tickets and were expecting a sellout.
“We’re definitely well over half sold already,” DeLuca said during a pre-event conference call on July 22. “That was as of the weekend. I know we picked up a full head of steam on Monday. I’m really not too sure where ticket sales are at exactly, but we are fully expecting it to be a complete sell out.”
It turns out that DeLuca fibbed a bit.
Showtime posted a video to their Youtube channel of highlights from June 14th EliteXC: Return of the King.
It’s a short video, not an in-depth recap, but if you’re wondering whether or not the mess at the end of the show made the cut: yup, there’s a snippet of that in there too.
Nate and Nick Diaz. Photo courtesy of ProElite.com
In terms of the fights that took place last night at EliteXC’s “Return of the King” show in Hawaii, the event was a success. Just about every fight on the card was filled with action from start to finish and each of the televised bouts had explosive and definitive endings, especially the main event, which saw lightweight champion K.J. Noons successfully make his first title defense by quickly stopping former training partner Yves Edwards in the first round.
However morally and ethically, the event was an epic failure.
The biggest reason was what happened after Noons had his EliteXC championship gold wrapped around his waist for a second time. In an attempt to hype a potential rematch between Noons and Nick Diaz, whom Noons defeated last November, EliteXC officials brought Diaz into the cage, his younger brother Nate, a current UFC lightweight, in tow.
Diaz, still suited up in fight gear from his bout against Muhsin Corbbrey earlier in the night, basically told Noons to “man up” after the champion’s hometown crowd disapproved of a second bout between the two when asked by Noons.
“Don’t be scared, homie,” Diaz said. He followed up by flipping Noons the middle finger while the younger Diaz opted to exchange words with Noons’ father, Karl Sr.
K.J. Noons. Photo by Esther Lin/ProElite.
The King’s return was a good one.
Fighting in his home state of Hawaii for the first time under the Elite Xtreme Combat banner, K.J. Noons successfully defended his EliteXC lightweight title for the first time, scoring a quick and brutal first-round stoppage of longtime veteran Yves Edwards in the main event of Saturday night’s “Return of the King” event.
Noons and Edwards wasted no time, quickly meeting in the center of the cage to exchange punches right from the opening bell. Although Edwards stunned Noons at one point, the fast-paced exchange on the feet suddenly came to a halt when Noons caught Edwards with a short right hand that sat him down on the canvas. Noons pounced on Edwards and unleashed a furious barrage of unanswered punches and elbows that forced referee Mario Yamasaki to step in and save Edwards.
“Yves caught me, rocked me,” Noons said after the fight. “But once I knocked him down I knew I had to go in and finish it.’’
Noons post-fight celebration was marred by the entrance of Nick Diaz, still suited up in fight gear from his bout against Muhsin Corbbrey earlier in the night, along with his younger brother and current UFC lightweight Nate Diaz, into the cage. In an attempt to hype a potential rematch between the two, the younger Diaz opted to exchange words with Noons’ father, Karl Sr.
The words soon escalated to threats and before long the elder Noons and the Diaz brothers grabbed one another, forcing ringside officials, color commentator Bill Goldberg, and everyone else in the cage to jump in and prevent an all-out brawl. The Diaz brothers quickly jolted from the cage, holding their trademark middle fingers high in the air while walking backstage.
KJ Noons retained his EliteXC lightweight championship. Photo: Tom Casino/EliteXC
Rafael Feijao def. Wayne Cole - TKO
Dave Herman def. Ron Waterman - TKO
Murilo Rua def. Tony Bonello - TKO
Nick Diaz def. Muhsin Corbbrey - TKO
K.J. Noons def. Yves Edwards - TKO
Bubba McDaniel def. Kala Kolohe - Submission (Rear Choke)
Mark Oshiro def. Chris Willems - TKO
Kaleo Kwan def. Mike Aina - Unanimous Decision
PJ Dean vs Dean Lista - Majority Draw
Lolohea Mahe vs Chris Barnard - Cancelled
Russell Doane def. Dwayne Haney - TKO
Carl Barton def. Kepa Madeiros - TKO
Yves Edwards (right) throws an uppercut at Mark Hominick during their lightweight bout at UFC 58: USA vs. Canada in March 2006. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Less than a year ago, things were falling apart for Yves Edwards.
With a fighter of his overall skill level, you’d think it was impossible. Holding wins over some of the best fighters in the world, Edwards led the Ultimate Fighting Championship into the new generation as it’s unofficial lightweight champion. After leaving the organization to try his hand over in Japan, Edwards continued to win.
Then a highly-anticipated return to the UFC didn’t go so well. Two straight losses ensued and Edwards found himself on the outside looking in once again. A decision loss to Mike Brown while with BodogFight was nothing to be alarmed about, but then came the brutal knockout against Jorge Masvidal. Edwards knew he had to do something.
“For a while in Houston, I had that. We had guys go in all the time working out. We had good, high?level guys working out all the time,” Edwards said during a recent conference call with the media. “But guys started moving away. Guys moved back to Brazil and Louisiana. Guys fell off, and I was kind of left alone. That’s when I started losing.”
Edwards joined forces with Florida-based American Top Team last fall, widely regarded as one of the top camps in the sport.
With a roster of training partners that stretches from two-time K-1 Hero’s tournament champion Gesias Cavalcante to current UFC welterweight title contender Thiago Alves, Edwards no longer has to worry about mustering up a group of fighters just to get a workout in. Every training session brings forth a world-class workout.
“The biggest thing is having world class guys all the time every single day,” said Edwards. “The thing for me with American Top Team, I don’t have to make phone calls and worry about who is going to show up and try to round up a crew to get together for the day. That’s been the big difference for me, besides the fact that everybody in there brings something to the table.”
K.J. Noons. Photo by Esther Lin/ProElite.
Elite Xtreme Combat has announced the complete card for it’s upcoming “Return of the King” event, which will take place on June 14th at the Neal Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The event is slated to be headlined by an EliteXC lightweight title bout between current champion K.J. Noons and top contender Yves Edwards. An additional lightweight fight between future DREAM title challenger Nick Diaz and Muhsin Corbbrey has also been signed to take place. Additional main card bouts also include former EliteXC middleweight champion Murilo “Ninja” Rua vs Tony Bonello, Ron Waterman vs Dave Herman, and Rafael Feijao vs Wayne Cole.
Newly crowned ICON Sport middleweight title holder Kala Kolohe Hose will headline the undercard against an opponent yet to be determined. His original foe, former hockey enforcer turned mixed martial artist Geoff Bumstead, has been removed from the card due to unknown reasons.
In a change of pace, the preliminary fights will be streamed on ProElite.com following the conclusion of the main card, which will be televised on Showtime starting at 10 PM ET.
The current fight card for the show is as follows:
K.J. Noons vs. Yves Edwards - EliteXC Lightweight Title
Nick Diaz vs. Muhsin Corbbrey
Murilo Rua vs. Tony Bonello
Rafael Feijao vs. Wayne Cole
Dave Herman vs. Ron Waterman
Kala Kolohe vs. TBA
Mark Oshiro vs. Chris Williams
Kaleo Kwan vs. Mike Aina
Lolohea Mahe vs. Chris Bernard
P.J. Dean vs. Dean Lista
Russell Doane vs. Dwayne Haney
Kepa Madeiros vs. Carl Barton
Yves Edwards (left) and Edson Berto weigh-in for EliteXC: Street Certified. Photo by Tom Casino/EliteXC.
EliteXC lightweight champion K.J. Noons will still defend his title for the first time against Yves Edwards, but he’ll have to wait a little longer in order to do it.
Edwards has informed The Fight Network that the fight, which was scheduled to take place at an April 26th at Elite Xtreme Combat event in Honolulu, Hawaii, has been postponed until June 14th.
“I had already started training for it,” Edwards said in the report. “A few weeks ago, they told us it was postponed. I didn’t stop training, but I did come home to spend time with my kids.”
Many saw Edwards score a first-round, highlight-reel flying knee knockout of Edson Berto at EliteXC: Street Certified last month. Edwards has bounced back from a three-fight losing streak to win three straight fights. The “Thugjitsu” founder submitted Alonzo Martinez and Nick Gonzalez at separate HDNet Fights and EliteXC events respectively last year.
Noons has looked extremely impressive since being knocked out by Charles Bennett in his EliteXC debut last February.
He rebounded with a knockout of Edson Berto last summer and shocked the world with a huge upset of Nick Diaz to claim the vacant EliteXC lightweight strap this past November.