It seems that KJ Noons’ reluctance to accept a rematch with lightweight (160lb) fighter Nick Diaz has finally come back to haunt him. In a news release on Friday from the official EliteXC website it was revealed that the promotion has stripped Noons of his Lightweight belt and will have a fight for the now vacant title sometime in the near future, most likely involving Diaz and a to be announced contender.
“We are stripping KJ of his championship belt for refusing to defend against Diaz,’’ said Jeremy Lappen, Head of Fight Operations for EliteXC. “It’s a very unfortunate situation but we cannot have belt-holders who refuse to fight the top contenders.We want champions who will fight anyone, anytime, anyplace.That’s the mentality all champions should have.
“I feel very bad for KJ because I like him a lot on a personal level and have always thought he could be a big star.He’s charismatic, has a very exciting fighting style and is a top level fighter. So I’m obviously disappointed that he has chosen to take this stance.
“I don’t understand why he would turn down a chance to be a headliner on CBS on Oct. 4. KJ then turned down the fight again when we offered him a headlining spot on our next SHOWTIME date against Nick. From my view, it is a fight against a top-named opponent in Diaz (someone who beat the No. 1 fighter in the world in his weight class), a fighter KJ has bad blood with and a fight the fans really wanted to see. It seemed like a great opportunity for KJ to me.
“Personally, I do not think it was a smart career move, but I’m sure he sees it differently. KJ has two more fights remaining on his contract, so we are still looking forward to having him fight for us again soon, but not as our world champion.’’
There has been no official statement yet from the Noons camp but check back to Fightline.com often as we’ll have more on this story as it develops.