We’ve been teased with a rematch between Nick Diaz and KJ Noons ever since their first meeting back in late 2007 when Noons defeated Diaz with a controversial cut stoppage. Diaz has been lobbying for the fight ever since, while Noons has been doing his best to avoid it. Well, now EliteXC has decided it’s finally time to book the grudge match fo their critical October 4 CBS event, and guess what, Noons is nowhere to be found.
“Nick Diaz is the No. 1 contender. K.J. Noons should step up and be the champion that we think he is and take this fight. Nick Diaz will take this fight any place, anywhere. (Noons’ management) won’t even return our calls.
“I don’t understand it. This fight on CBS is maximum exposure and the opportunity for maximum sponsorship dollars, way more than he could make on Showtime. At this point, I question his management.”
“His manager doesn’t want us talking to him directly. Who knows what K.J. even knows about the situation, but his management is holding us hostage.”
“Hopefully K.J. wants the fight and hopefully he will instruct his management to take the fight. K.J. signed a contract. All we want is for him to honor that contract, fight on Oct. 4 on CBS, and prove that he’s the champion we think he is. Right now, he’s not representing us as the EliteXC champion.”
It’s unclear at the moment why exactly Noons’ management isn’t responding, but it’s worth noting that his manager is the same person who kept Brandon Vera out of competition for nearly a year—Mark Dion. Earlier this year, Noons was asked to be on the first CBS card, but in order to do so he had to sign for an additional three fights. Dion felt that was too much to ask for, and Noons didn’t appear on the card. That may or may not be the case now, but even if it is, it would be foolish for Noons not to take it. Outside of the hardcore crowd that watches the Showtime events, no one really knows who KJ Noons is. Putting him on the Kimbo/Gina featured CBS card would expose him to millions who’ve never seen him before, and let’s face it, EliteXC probably isn’t going to be around long enough to honor that “long-term” contract his manager doesn’t want him to sign.
[UPDATE 8/20/08 8:34PM ET] – MMAJunkie.com spoke with Jared Shaw earlier today about this situation, and he’s starting to sound really pissed. Here’s a few notable quotes.
“When [Noons’ camp] wants to track us down and tell us how Nick Diaz isn’t the right fight for them — or they want more money, or they want this out of their contract, or this and that — they’re easy to get a hold of. But to actually make the fight? Impossible.
“Since day one [Noons’ manager] Mark Dion has been insinuating that EliteXC has been out to get KJ Noons. I just can’t figure that out. When a guy appears on the very first card — and the very first fight gets knocked out in the very first round off the very first punch — and we’re there to hold his hand and pick him back up and put him right back on television in a main event on ShoXC?
“And then when he’s 1-1, get him right back into a main event situation for the world championship against Nick Diaz, the legend who beat Gomi, how are you going to say that we’re not trying to help your kid? What more opportunity could we give the kid?”
“We will not be held hostage by their camp. Maybe the problem with his camp is it’s called City Boxing. They think that they can manage a career like a boxer.
“There’s a spot for KJ Noons to face Nick Diaz on the Oct 4. card. If this fight doesn’t go off then this a textbook case in business law of harbor. It would be called the KJ Noons case. It will be the biggest mismanagement of an athlete’s career you will ever see. This is a chance to maximize his exposure right now.”
Great stuff. Funny enough, MMA Junkie was able to get in touch with both Dion and Noons regarding the situation. And of course, they declined to comment. How convenient.
[UPDATE 8/20/08 11:51PM ET] – This story just keeps getting better. MMAJunkie.com is now reporting that EliteXC has set a 24 hour deadline for KJ Noons to accept the Diaz rematch.
“A bout agreement has been sent to KJ Noons. He has until 5 (p.m. PT Thursday) to accept it, or he can face public opinion.”
This situation literally escalated from, “we can’t get ahold of Noons,” to issuing an ultimatum in less than 24 hours. Patience is obviously not Jared’s strong suit.
As for Noons, he did speak with MMANews.com, although he didn’t really say anything. Apparently, he’s going to tell all in due time.
“A few things will be settled over the next few days,” Noons told MMANews.com “but for now we’ll just let Jared Shaw go off on his little rants and let him have his fun, this isn’t bothering me.”
“I just need a couple more days to get a this stuff worked out and then I will be able to say my piece and clear my name of everything that is being said and everything that is going on.”
Better say your peace by 5PM tomorrow Noons, or else!