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