In watching this recent debacle evolve, it has been blatantly apparent to me that Nick Diaz and K.J. Noons will fit nicely into their roles on the upcoming season of "The Young and the Restless." EliteXC's latest soap opera has apparently come to an end, at least for the time being. I dedicate this post to informing those who are....uninformed....of exactly what has been going on over the last couple weeks.
It all began on the EliteXC Renegade card, November 11, 2007. K.J. Noons defeated Nick Diaz via Doctor Stoppage due to cuts at 5:00 of the first round. K.J. fought the perfect fight. He prevented the fight from going to the ground, and beat up Nick Diaz.
Following this beating, Nick Diaz sought out a plastic surgeon to repair a considerable amount of scar tissue around his eyes, in order to hopefully prevent another future stoppage due to cuts. Amidst all this, Kit Cope (Diaz's good friend and training partner) sent this message to Noons: "You're not even in the same league. You're luckier than a dog with two peckers."
Soon thereafter, the website GracieFighter.com accused Noons of refusing a rematch with Diaz. It posted the following:
KJ Noons has refused a rematch with Nick Diaz. Noons won the EliteXC title after defeating Diaz by doctor’s stoppage due to a cut. Diaz subsequently went in for plastic surgery after a specialist determined that the sharpness of the bones above his eyes would lead to more cuts and make it impossible for him to pursue a successful MMA career. The surgery was a complete success.
EliteXC suggested a rematch just as the UFC had when Vitor Belfort defeated Randy Couture for their title due to a cut, however KJ and his camp have now responded that they do not want anything to do with a rematch. Diaz will still be fighting at the event against another EliteXC fighter, most likely Muhsin Corbbrey (6-2).
Noons then stated,
First of all, I didn't dodge anybody. Whoever is the best, I want to fight them. As a champion, you can't decline who you want to fight. You only have one option as to who you're going to fight, and that's the best. Whoever the best is, that’s who I have to fight. In regard to a rematch with Nick, that would be a great pay day for me. Unfortunately, he’s not the best. As for Nick, of course he’s going to get a rematch in the future,” Noons commented. “They created a weight division for this guy (and) he’s such a big crybaby. Eventually they are going to be able to rebuild him and of course he’s going to get a rematch but he’s not the best right now. So I’d love an easy pay day. If he deserves a rematch right now, what about my rematch with Krazy Horse? I’d love a rematch with Krazy Horse and I’ve won a few fights so I think I’m more deserving than someone like Diaz in regards to getting a rematch right now. As far as declining the fight, I don’t decline fights. You don’t get an option as champion to decline a fight. You’re only option is to fight the best.
Just wait. It gets better.
Diaz's retort was:
Noons is a little (expletive) and it doesn’t even matter what I am thinking about him because we are not fighting. Noons won on a cut. He is only a paper champion. His days are numbered.
Diaz went on to get a match with Muhsin Corbbrey, and on the same card, Noons defended his title against Yves Edwards. Immediately after the fight, this all transpired.
Nick Diaz then made this statement in an interview with Yahoo Sports, regarding what transpires in the cage after the Noons fight:
I’m not a punk and I don’t start (expletive),” Diaz said. “They brought me to the cage to do an interview about the rematch. I was doing my job. I didn’t go in there like some crazy psycho (expletive). It wasn’t staged. But it was all because of this (expletive) poser.
My car pulled up in front of the hotel and he and his girlfriend and his mom and dad were there,” Diaz said. “Right away, he put his mug on me. He was staring me down and trying to give the impression that he’s hard core. I flipped him off, but he’s standing over there like he’s flashing. I go, ‘What the (expletive) are you doing? I’m not the one doing (expletive).’ I couldn’t understand why this guy is putting his mug on me, but he had to act like he was some kind of a (expletive) tough guy in front of his girlfriend and his Dad.
This is war, this is life, and I take this very seriously,” Diaz said. “I’m not the one bringing my family into the ring and showing them off. I’m not the one who (showed up to the pre-fight news conference) in a (expletive) suit trying to act like I’m some kind of tough guy (expletive) rich kid. This is war to me and we have a serious situation on our hands now.
The hype then died down recently, until EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw was reported to be saying this to MMAWeekly.com:
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, (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 then spoke to MMA Junkie, and said this:
I’m sitting here and I’m drinking from a carton of milk right now, and the EliteXC lightweight champion KJ Noons’ face is on the back of this milk carton because he’s missing in action. I can’t seem to find him.
When [Noons' camp] wants to track us down and tell us how Nick Diaz isn’t the right fight for them — or they want more money, or they want this out of their contract, or this and that — they’re easy to get a hold of, but to actually make the fight? Impossible.
And then when he’s 1-1, get him right back into a main event situation for the world championship against Nick Diaz, the legend who beat Gomi, how are you going to say that we’re not trying to help your kid? What more opportunity could we give the kid?
There’s a spot for KJ Noons to face Nick Diaz on the Oct 4. card. If this fight doesn’t go off then this a textbook case in business law of harbor. It would be called the KJ Noons case. It will be the biggest mismanagement of an athlete’s career you will ever see. This is a chance to maximize his exposure right now.
Jared Shaw then was directly asked whether or not he would rule out stripping Noons of his title if he continued to refuse a rematch. “I would never rule out that possibility,” Shaw responded. When asked if there were any other avaliable options to Noons if he chose not to fight, Shaw hinted that it could be quite some time before fans get to see Noons fight again “I would say the only guarantee K.J. has is to pull up a chair and watch the event and get comfortable on that chair because he’ll be sitting for a little bit.”
And then today, August 22nd, this was officially released on MMA Rated:
It was hoped that both sides would reach some sort of agreement but, according to EliteXC VP Jared Shaw, in the end both ProElite and Noons’ agent, Mark Dion, were unable to agree to the terms of the contract.
Interestingly enough, Shaw informed us that throughout this whole process no one from ProElite was able to speak to Noons directly as his management team refused any direct contact between the two sides.
Shaw mentioned that ProElite will not be stripping Noons of his 160 lbs title at this time but hopes that Noons will “wake up and smell the Hawaiian coffee” sooner rather than later.
It seems remarkable to me that Noons is entirely allowing his management to do this. The upcoming fight card includes the likes of Kimbo Slice, Gina Carano, and will air on CBS. This means a rediculous amount of potential exposure. I'm just not sure whether this is Noons ducking Diaz, or the worst case of mismanagement in the history of the sport.