A grudge rematch that fans, media, and the confident fighters themselves have been clamoring for since the first fight ended in bloody controversy nearly three years ago, will take place on Saturday, October 9, when KJ Noons, fresh off a knockout victory last Saturday, challenges STRIKEFORCE Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz in the main event at HP Pavilion here, live on SHOWTIME.
Diaz has not lost a fight since he first faced Noons, losing via disputed first-round TKO on Nov. 7, 2007. Diaz has been devastating in recent outings notching seven in a row. The talented, outspoken, no-nonsense brawler also boasts a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.
The always-dangerous Noons is an aggressive and prolific striker who has won his last six fights, including the thrilling slugfest against Diaz that ended when the cageside physician halted the proceedings due to excessive cuts around Diaz’ eyes.
Since that fight, there has been no love lost between the pair of brash fighters. Seven months after their first fight, on June 14, 2008, the fighters and their camp members nearly came to blows in the cage after the fighters registered victories in separate bouts.
“Nick has no class, he’s a bum, a piece of (expletive) and he and his team disrespected my family and I with their gestures and trash talk and tried to upstage my fight,” said Noons after the near-fracas.
Offered Diaz: “I’m sorry about what happened in the cage afterward, but I didn’t start it. His guys were talking (expletive) to us.”
Diaz is coming off a first-round submission (armbar) over fellow superstar Hayato “Mach” Sakurai last May 29 at DREAM 14 in Japan. The six-foot, 27-year-old Diaz won the Strikeforce title with a convincing first-round TKO (punches) over Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis on Jan. 30, 2010.
The 5-foot-11, 27-year-old Noons, who was born and raised in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, registered a spectacular, crowd-pleasing second-round knockout over Jorge Gurgel during last Saturday’s Strikeforce: Houston on SHOWTIME.