A win over Nick Diaz is a pretty big deal. Especially now that the welterweight has reeled off seven straight wins smashing guys like Hayato Sakurai, Marius Zaromskis, Frank Shamrock and Scott Smith along the way. K.J. Noons, with just five MMA fights under his belt, pulled off the upset against Diaz back in 2007. He hasn't done much since, living off the glory of that win, fighting over his contract with Elite XC and talking a lot of trash while sitting mostly idle. He has a chance tonight to make a statement against a good brawler in Conor Huen. You wonder if he recognizes that it's time to put up or shutup.
"Of course! I’m getting paid to fight! Are you kidding me," Noons told Heavy.com.
Noons is looking to entertain tonight unlike many fighters who prefer a safe win over a crowd-pleasing war.
"That’s because they aren’t real fighters. [They're] dorks from high school that got picked on and could wrestle, and now they want to fight when they’re 18 [years old]," said Noons.
Noons said fighting is in his blood and frankly he should doing something with his brains instead of brawn.
"I come from a family of fighting. I should have come out of business school and made a lot of money. Instead I chose my passion, something I love, something I’ve been doing my whole life. I love the sport. I love muay thai, I love boxing, I love MMA. I just like the art of fighting."
Many think Noons' career has stalled because his insistence to continue a boxing career. Fighting as a middleweight, the 27-year-old is 11-2 in the squared circle, but he's still stuck in six rounders. Can he really train MMA full-time and juggle a boxing career?
"(Strikeforce) is still going to let me box if I want to, but I want to show them that I’m committed, and whatever fights they want [for me], I want to stay busy. As long as they keep me busy, I’ll keep fighting in MMA, and whenever I want to switch back [to boxing], I’ll switch back," said Noons.
Noons would love to be part something like former boxing champ Ricardo Mayorga and MMA fighter Din Thomas attempted last month.
"I would love to do a crossover down the line and do a match between and MMA champ and a boxing champ like the UFC is going to do with James Toney and Randy [Couture]. Until then, if that comes up, great. If not, I’ll just keep fighting in MMA and just keep building my record and hopefully get a real title shot somewhere down the line."
That said Noons thinks the UFC is doing a lousy job of using world champion boxer James Toney.
"I think it’s a little bit of a joke, because match-ups make fights, so why would you put a boxer against a great Greco-Roman wrestler? That’s just stupid. That just looks to me like someone it trying to put egg on somebody’s face. Especially for a legend in boxing like James Toney, why wouldn’t you put him up against a striker?"
Tonight's fight goes down at 160 pounds but the fighters are both capable of waging it at 155. Heun isn't part of anyone's top 25 at lightweight so Noons needs to care of business if he's to continue his bluster about titles and MMA stardom.