Noons Ducking Diaz, Given 24-Hour Deadline

Written by Tom Ngo
August 21st, 2008

It seems as though everyone wants to see the highly anticipated rematch between EliteXC lightweight champion KJ Noons and Nick Diaz, expect Noons. Apparently the fight has been offered to both fighters, with Diaz and his camp quickly jumping on board. Noons’ camp has been unresponsive and silent regarding the rematch.

EliteXC and CBS management are pushing Noons to agree to the fight so it can be the main event for their third promotion together on October 4th.
Noons shocked the MMA world over nine months ago when he beat Diaz to win the title via TKO stoppage. Noons’ only bout since his victory came in an impressive 1stRound TKO of UFC veteran Yves Edwards at “Return of the King” in June.

Diaz, on the other hand, has won all three of his bouts, beating Katsuya Inoue, Muhsin Corbbrey, and Thomas Denny, all via TKO. He and his camp have been calling for a rematch since the loss

“His win over Thomas Denny was a crucial test for him. He needed to prove he could make weight and pass California’s stringent anti-marijuana drug policy. Diaz easily made weight and passed the drug test,” said a recent post on GracieFighter.com, which is operated by Diaz’ trainer Cesar Gracie. “His recent wins have convinced EliteXC that his next fight should be a rematch with K.J. Noons at the October 4th CBS show. However, it is still unclear if K.J.’s camp will take the fight.”

According to EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw, they have tried their hardest to put this fight together for the October show, however Noons and his camp are not cooperating.

“Nick Diaz is the No. 1 contender. K.J. Noons should step up and be the champion that we think he is and take this fight. Nick Diaz will take this fight any place, anywhere,” Shaw told MMAWeekly.com. “(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.”

Shaw does not have an issue having Noons as their champion, however he believes that a champion should defend his title against the best competition available.

“We believe in K.J. as our champion,” Shaw continued. “For some reason (his camp) is not coming straight out and saying no, but they are making it very difficult to make it happen. His manager doesn’t want us talking to him directly. Who knows what K.J. even knows about the situation, but his management is holding us hostage.”

Both fighters and their camps have a history beyond Noons’ win over Diaz in the cage. While Noons was speaking during his post fight ring interview after his victory over Edwards, Diaz and his entourage entered the ring calling him out for a rematch and flipping off Noons and Co.

Ultimately, a water bottle was thrown by Nick’s brother, Nate Diaz, at Noon’s camp and a riot ensued.  It is possible that Noons is playing mind games with Diaz, as he knows how badly Diaz wants this rematch.

If that is the case, Shaw is hoping that Noons wont sit on the offer too long, since CBS and EliteXC would like to have the proper time to promote the fight.

“Hopefully K.J. wants the fight and hopefully he will instruct his management to take the fight,” expressed Shaw. “K.J. signed a contract. All we want is for him to honor that contract, fight on Oct. 4 on CBS, and prove that he’s the champion we think he is. Right now, he’s not representing us as the EliteXC champion.”

Shaw later told MMAJunkie.com that they have distributed a fight agreement to Noons and he is hoping that Noons will step up and face the top contender, as any champion would. If he doesn’t, then he will be forced to answer to the public himself.

“A bout agreement has been sent to KJ Noons,” Shaw said. “He has until 5 (p.m. PT Thursday) to accept it, or he can face public opinion.”

We will keep you posted as information continues to come out.

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