The EliteXC drama continues…
It appears there’s a new development in the KJ Noons-EliteXC saga. In a report from Sherdog.com, Noons is now claiming he’s a free agent. According to Noons, when he was stripped of his title, it released him of his obligation to give EliteXC the two fights remaining on his contract.
“I’m a free agent.”
“We weren’t coming to agreements on the fight, so I gave them written notice that I’d give them the belt back five days prior before they stripped me,” he said, in the hopes of “working something out.” “I didn’t make it public, and I guess to prove a point, or maybe out of ego or whatever they want, they stripped me.”
“Since I’ve been stripped, I’m no longer the champion and I don’t owe them the fights,” he said. “I owed them fights for being a champion.”
Not so fast Noons. While virtually anything can be written into a contract this seems a bit odd, especially since Jeremy Lappen stated the contrary in the press release that announced they had stripped him. According to the report, that hasn’t changed.
“KJ still has two more fights on his contract,” Lappen said Monday. “I’m hoping we’ll work something out, but there’s really not much to work out. He’s still under contract with us.”
Despite everything that’s transpired between them, both parties stated they’re hopeful something can be worked out. Noons still plans to box in meantime, and is hopeful EliteXC will want him back in the future (read: pay him more $$$) so the new champ can fight “the real champ.” If not, he believes one of the other organizations will see the “value” in “the defending world champ.”
I’ve already beat this horse to death so I’ll close this post with this. KJ, you’re still young. Get a new manager who won’t dangle an imaginary pot of gold like a carrot in front of you before it’s too late and you’re completely forgotten.
[UPDATE 10/08/08 7:20PM ET] – KJ Noons explains the logic behind his free agent claims to MMARated.
Ariel Helwani: KJ, explain to me how you are all of a sudden a free agent?
KJ Noons: I gave them notice five days before they stripped me just saying that I was willing to give the belt back (because) we couldn’t work out our differences and to release me as a free agent. And instead of getting back to me they just turn around and strip me. I owe them championship fights and if you’re going to strip me of the belt, I don’t owe you any fights. Pretty basic.
Gee, if Randy only knew all he had to do was give a little notice things would be so much different. Oh but wait, there’s an explanation.
We negotiated a contract that’s for championship fights and if they strip me then I’m not with their company anymore. It goes into a lot of legal terms and I don’t want to go into it.
Oh, so Noons (Dion) negotiated a contract for championship fights, yet refuses to honor said contract. Got it.
I might be a little more inclined to believe this if Noons hadn’t told Sherdog’s Loretta Hunt right after he was stripped that he did owe EliteXC more fights.
Noons says he still has at least one to two fights remaining on his existing contract, though recent public filings revealed that Pro Elite is more than $55 million in debt.
So now he’s changed his story with all this championship fight talk. I can only imagine what kind of scheme Mark Dion is trying to cook up or what loophole he thinks he’s found.