Former EliteXC lightweight champion KJ Noons states that since EliteXC management decided to strip him of his title, he believe he is now a free agent. Noons only defended his title once since winning it late last year.
“I’m a free agent,” Noons told Sherdog.com. “Since I’ve been stripped, I’m no longer the champion and I don’t owe them the fights. I owed them fights for being a champion.”
EliteXC stated that they tried on multiple occasions to get Noons to agree to a rematch against top contender Nate Diaz on this past weekend’s “EliteXC: Heat” event on CBS. Neither Noons nor his manager returned their calls, later stating that Diaz was not the top contender. They preferred to fight Eddie Alvarez since Noons had already defeated Diaz to obtain the title.
“We weren’t coming to agreements on the fight, so I gave them written notice that I’d give them the belt back five days prior before they stripped me,” Noons said, in his attempts of “working something out.” “I didn’t make it public, and I guess to prove a point, or maybe out of ego or whatever they want, they stripped me.”
Jeremy Lappen, EliteXC’s Head of Fight Operations, states that there really isn’t much to negotiate.
“KJ still has two more fights on his contract,” Lappen stated. “I’m hoping we’ll work something out, but there’s really not much to work out. He’s still under contract with us.”
After all of the grandstanding died down from both sides, Noons stated that he would now concentrate his efforts on his first love, boxing, where there is less drama and bigger paydays. However, he has left the door open for a return to the cage somewhere down the line.
“Hopefully they’ll want to bring me back in the future and they can have Eddie or Nick or whoever they have in the future fight the real champ,” said Noons.
Noons is a very marketable fighter. Perhaps that’s why EliteXC pushed so hard to get him on their third CBS network event. He is young , articulate and has that All-American boy next door look that fans just eat up. If EliteXC doesn’t want him, he is hoping that there won’t be a shortage of organizations that will.
“I’m 25 years old. I’m the defending world champ and I can do two sports,” he said. “Hopefully they’ll want to bring me back. I just hope that they’ll see the value in me, and if not, I believe somebody else will.”