All fighters want to fight and fight a lot, so they can do what they love and be able to provide for there families. KJ Noons is no different. Noons (10-4 MMA, 2-2 SF) will return to the Strikeforce cage this Saturday for the second time this year as he takes on highly touted prospect Billy Evangelista (11-1 MMA, 2-1 SF w/1 NC).
Strikeforce: Melendez vs Masvidal takes place from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, CA. The event will be live on Showtime and this fight will be apart of the main card.
Noons last fought this past June in a defeat to now No.1 contender for the lightweight title Jorge Masvidal. He wasn't happy with his performance and looks forward to returning on Saturday.
"My performance of my last fight was very poor," Noons told me. "I got beat. He (Masvidal) came and had a good gameplan. Guys' tricky to fight. He's elusive. Got that in the past and changed the camp up, mix it up, do a few different things, be a better all around MMA fighter, really changed the camp up. Now I'm ready to go for this next fight. Showcase different skills to San Diego where I train and where I live at. So I'm super excited and I'm really excited to be back on Showtime."
Before Noons fought Masvidal in June, he had moved up to Welterweight and challenged former Strikeforce Champion Nick Diaz and lost a close decision in a highly entertaining fight. After Diaz, he went back to lightweight to take the fight with Masvidal. Noons doesn't feel that the going up and going back down in weight has effected him at all in the Masvidal fight.
"No, I think it was a lot of time off. I broke my hand in that Diaz fight. I had surgery on my hand, connect the bone back. I was out for a really long time. I think that's the hardest thing is getting the ring rust off. Your really not active in the ring, it's hard to get in there. Your only fighting for 15 minutes anyway. It goes by really quick. I wish I could fight more often. I think it was a little ring rust. It just really wasn't my night. He (Masvidal) had my number and I was off. He had a great performance. He's a tricky fighter. He's good, really good. He knows how to fight good and put rounds in the bag."
Noons and Evangelista have a common opponent in Masvidal, in which Masvidal defeated Evangelista in March by decision. Noons says he saw some stuff in that fight that he can use on Saturday.
"Masvidal does a good job of keeping the distance. Billy's a good Muay Thai wrestler. I'm just kind of ready for whatever, wherever the fight goes. I'm not particularily really, "oh I'm gunna take it to the ground or I'm gunna keep it boxing, I'm gunna keep kicking". "I kinda trained everything. I would say he's probably the best at his kicks, his knees and his takedowns."
Noons has gone through multiple injuries in the past and looks forward to coming out of Saturday's fight healthy, so the fans can finally see the real KJ Noons.
"It's just tough. You deal with a lot of injuries too. I had surgery. I don't want to be out. I don't think Strikeforce is holding me out. You just gotta deal with different things as your fighting through camps and getting to fights. You have to fight all these injuries and make sure you get there. So hopefully this fight, I came out clean and I can keep fighting as much as possible. I think if any fighter stays active, you just get that ring rust off and you get to show more what type of fighter you are."
To listen to the interview with KJ Noons, listen here.
You can follow me on Twitter @fightclubchi.