For those that believe MMA lives and dies within the Octagon’s fences, their stateside counterparts will be hosting a fairly major event this Saturday inside the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. The Showtime broadcast features a bitter welterweight title scrap between champion Nick Diaz and KJ Noons.
Noons shocked the MMA world when he defeated Diaz to capture the EliteXC lightweight crown back in November 2007. Despite all the bong rips Diaz has admitted to legally taking, the Pothead Focker still can’t seem to forget about the controversial loss.
The current/former boxer dominated Diaz in their first outing, dropping him with a right hand and landing a knee to the grill that opened up a gash on Diaz’s forehead. A disappointed Diaz immediately left the arena, but not before flipped off the cage-side doctor that opted to call the bout after the 1stRound.
Coincidentally, Diaz stated in pre-fight interviews that the only way he was going to lose the scrap was from a cut above his eye.
Diaz and Noons competed in separate bouts seven months later at “EliteXC: Return of the King,” where Noons successfully defended his crown against Yves Edwards in the card’s main event. The geniuses running EliteXC then urged Nick, who was accompanied by his always-down-to-go brother Nate, to invade Noons’ post-fight celebratory speech and demand a rematch.
Noons took the mic and asked his fellow Hawaiians if they were interested in seeing the mulligan, to which they responded with a resounding chorus of boos. A “Don’t be scared, homie” was subsequently flung, Noons’ pops got involved and was rudely met by a water bottle courtesy of Nate.
The Diaz brothers were quickly escorted to the locker room by a gang of security. At the time, it was the worst stateside brawl in the sport’s history. The infamous Diaz Bros returned two years later to up the ante on post-fight rumbles at “Strikeforce: Nashville.” This time, it happened live on CBS and now tops the list of most forgettable MMA moments.
Internet geeks went wild over the beef and EliteXC brass tried/threatened valiantly to arrange a rematch. Unfortunately, Noons threw a monkey wrench into their plans by correctly claiming Diaz wasn’t the top contender at that time – Eddie Alvarez was. Furthermore, he wasn’t going to be a pawn in EliteXC’s scheme to capitalize on their feud just for the sake of ratings. Especially since it would directly benefit his mortal enemy.
Noons not only declined, but reportedly didn’t even bother returning phone calls. He and his camp felt there was nothing to gain from a Part II with the man they had just beaten. He was ultimately stripped of his title, which didn’t matter because the organization went belly-up shortly after.
Their original tango took place at 160 pounds. Diaz has since moved up to capture Strikeforce’s welterweight title, while Noons competes in the 155-pound division. Despite claiming the leap in weight won’t affect his game, this will be the largest he’s ever come in for an MMA contest. How will his body respond to the excess pounds come gametime? How will it affect his quickness?
Furthermore, Diaz has evolved just as much as any mixed martial artist on the planet. So the additional 15 pounds may be the least of his worries come Saturday.
Lights, camera, action, homie.