K.J. Noons starts Strikeforce card with exciting decision

Maggie Hendricks

Hometown boy K.J. Noons took an exciting decision over Billy Evangelista at the Strikeforce show in San Diego on Saturday night. The judges saw it 29-28 on all three cards for Noons.

Early in the first round, the pair traded takedowns, but Evangelista landed some short strikes that rocked Noons with around two minutes left. Noons answered with a jab that gave him room, and combinations that showed off his striking prowess. Evangelista finished the round strong with a headlock and a knee.

Noons started the action-packed second round with a spinning backfist and kick. The rest of the round featured Evangelista happily moving forward and surviving Noons strikes. He even asked for Noons to hit him, and Noons obliged. Evangelista tried for a takedown, but couldn't do much with it.

After beating up Evangelista for most of the rounds, Noons came close to losing the fight when Evangelista caught him in a D'Arce choke. Though it was tight, Noons maneuvered out. The two finished the round exchanging strikes, smiling and enjoying the end of their bout. Noons got the better of every exchange.

Both fighters were coming off losses to Jorge Masvidal, the headliner for Saturday's card. Noons is now 11-4, while Evangelista is 7-2.