“Even though [Nick Diaz]’s moved up a weight class, I’ve been exploring that too with Scott from Strikeforce, to do a catchweight. So I’ve never turned down the fight, it was just turning down getting paid three times less money than him. So if that’s something that people want to see, I’m just looking to fight good fights that people want to watch. That’s definitely one of the fights that’s out there for me…Before that fight, I never took anything away from him. I knew he was a good athlete going into it. I just can’t stand the guy personally; I think he’s a dumbass. But fighter-wise, he’s pretty good. I think that’s a great style for me.”
—KJ Noons talking to MMA Weekly about a possible rematch with Nick Diaz in Strikeforce.
Nothing really new to pass along. Noons still plans on boxing this summer and wants to get back into MMA after that, and the fight he’s obviously campaigning for is the Diaz rematch.
There is something I want to point out though. Last year when EliteXC was trying to put this fight together it was compelling because of the post-fight brawl in Hawaii and all the out-of-ring drama and trash talk between the two camps, not because of the actual fight. It may still be compelling for those reasons, but now Nick isn’t getting cut every time his opponent comes to close to hitting him (the reason the first fight got stopped), his striking has dramatically improved, plus he’s an entirely different and much better fighter at the higher weight. There’s no denying Noons was putting a beating on Nick the first time around, but if they fight at something like 175 or even 170, I think you have the makings for one hell of a fight.
It seems like a no-brainer for Strikeforce, but I’m a little worried it might not happen for reasons other than how much Noons is getting paid. The UFC has started to show interest in Nick again. They haven’t come out and said it quite like Dana did with Vitor Belfort, but Dana did mention at the UFC 99 Q&A that their door is open for him. Plus, during Nate’s fight at the TUF 9 Finale, Joe Rogan was talking Nick up like he one of the greatest fighters in the world. Maybe that was all Rogan, but I think it’s pretty clear the UFC wants to bring him back into the mix. No idea how many fights Nick has left on his Strikeforce contract, maybe just one, but if KJ Noons isn’t his next opponent, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we miss out on the rematch again because of contracts and money.