Though his lightweight scrap with Josh Thomson is going overshadowed by the Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey main event grudge match, former EliteXC lightweight champ KJ Noons is hoping to show the world that he’s a UFC-caliber fighter.
Speaking with MMAJunkie recently, Noons explained that he’s been focused on evolving as a fighter since suffering two straight losses to Nick Diaz and Jorge Masvidal and wants to disprove the notion that Strikeforce fighters aren’t on the same level as their UFC counterparts.
“I want to get a shot at this title because Gilbert is number one, but I really want to get a shot at the guys in the UFC,” Noons told MMAJunkie. “Strikeforce is considered a minor league while that’s really not the case. We can compete with all these guys. I want to show people that I can compete at that level.
“UFC sucked up Strikeforce, and I’m like, ‘OK, put me over the UFC,’ and they’re like, ‘No, we’re going to keep it separate.’ I want to show people I can compete on that level.”
Noons, who recently rebounded from that two-fight slump by defeating Billy Evangelista, will meet Thomson tonight at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.