There’s two sides to every story, and KJ Noons has finally told his. Instead of holding a press conference, Noons has released an official statement to share his side of the recent EliteXC-Nick Diaz debacle. We’ve covered this story pretty extensively, so I was quite anxious hear what Noons had to say, and quite honestly after reading it twice, I found very little that actually “clears his name.”
I’ll start with the only argument that has any merit to it.
Honor my contract. Elite XC wants to talk about honoring the contract. How about when Elite XC honored the contract and my pay to fight Edson Berto went down after I lost my first fight. That was not part of my contract. Or how about the contract Gary Shaw breached by not promoting my boxing career? Gary Shaw only gave me one out of four of the agreed upon fights. I have not boxed for over a year. When I signed with Elite XC, I was promised they would promote both my boxing and MMA careers. I could have signed with another MMA only company, but I wanted to box too.
I will concede that EliteXC cutting Noons’ contracted pay isn’t right, but it could have been worse. I’m not trying to say this is right, because it isn’t, but he could have been fighting for the UFC, where instead of cutting your pay, you just get cut. As for the boxing, I would have to imagine his boxing deal went out the window when Gary Shaw went out the door. How many of you have been promised something big from your superior only to see it vanish into thin air the moment he/she leaves the company? I have. Is it right? No. Does it suck? Yes. But dwelling on it will only distract you from seeing even bigger opportunities. I see where he’s coming from, but unless he has any legal recourse for these actions, it may be in his best interests to just move on from them.
The rest of the statement basically goes into detail about the two things we’ve already talked about—exposure and money. Here’s a few excerpts.
Elite XC never promoted or took care of me as their champion.
In the Elite XC’s DVD where Diaz and I fought there are two (2) baseball cards of Diaz and Kimbo. Hello! I won the fight and Elite XC’s promoting Diaz after I beat him? Or how about the day Elite XC flew Diaz in to do a signing on the DVD where he lost. Wow, that must have been uncomfortable Nick? Signing a DVD, and it is a fight that you lost. Why wasn’t I flown in for the signing?
Elite XC has never promoted me on either of their websites, EliteXC or Pro-Elite.
Elite XC offered me a fight on the first CBS show, but only if I signed a new long-term contract. Instead of promoting their best fighters on CBS, you have to be on a long term contract for them to promote you. That was not our deal.
Consider when Elite XC gives a couple thousand tickets away at their CBS show in Stockton.
Elite XC gives me a hard time about comping me one extra ticket for my cousin that helped me train for my fight. I only get four tickets per show. I am the main event in Honolulu, my home town! I did not ask for any tickets for my family and friends and they gave me a hard time about one extra ticket!
The baseball cards, DVD’s, and tickets just come off as petty. We heard similar things from Randy Couture, but at least that was Randy Couture, one of the most popular mixed martial artists on the planet. As far as the “long-term deal” (which actually has been reported as a three fight deal) comment, whatever you have to do to get on network television, short of selling your soul to the devil, is worth it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you can’t buy that kind of exposure, especially with Kimbo Slice & Gina Carano on the card. Hell, if he had played his cards right, he probably could have negotiated to be sandwiched in between.
Or how about when Elite XC brought Diaz into the ring after my last victory in Hawaii to disrespect me and my family.
Chuck Champion (President Elite XC) threatens me, my family and my manager with lawsuits and how he’s going to sue me. HAHA. Pretty hard to sue a guy who does not make jack with your company. I’m glad $kala disclosed how much I make, which breached the confidentiality clause of the contract. I will break down the real numbers for you. I am the defending world champ, I have been the main event for Elite XC three out of four times on Showtime. In almost two years I have made approximately $83,000?
After paying my trainers and managers fee, I have $50,000 thousand. After taxes, probably 30 grand. Divide that by two years for $15,000 thousand a year. Divide by 52 weeks that amounts to approximately $300 a week. I do not know anybody that can survive on that amount of money. My buddies make more money than that in a couple days being a bus boy or bar back. And yes you can argue I should fight more. Elite XC doesn’t give me fights or promote me, they ice me. Gary Shaw Productions only gave me one of the agreed upon four fights per the boxing contract.
And I do not want to ramble on about all the little small stuff that I can keep going on about. But the straw that broke the camel’s back is they want me to fight Diaz for the second time. Diaz is not the number one contender and they are paying Diaz three times more money than me. Diaz complained after the Stockton fight, he was not paid enough. How do you think that made me feel? Yes you can argue that Diaz gets more for the draw, therefore I do not deserve as much compensation. If that is the case, it is a result of Elite XC terrible job promoting me. Instead of promoting me as their champ and upcoming athlete, Elite XC has resented me for ruining their plans to make Diaz their champ. That is just total disrespect. So it comes down to money and what is fair. I am tired of being bent over by Elite XC with no Vaseline.
Obviously putting Diaz inside the cage with Noons was a stupid move, but honestly, for his father to go after Nate Diaz with the intent of physically harming him, I wouldn’t feel sorry for him it all if he got sued for it.
I don’t think the best way to combat the other party breaching your contract is to go out and breach it yourself. But since he did, we might as well take a look at it. I’ve always been a supporter of larger pay days for the fighters, and Noons along with every other professional fighter should at least make enough to comfortably live on. Unfortunately, that’s not the case at the present time, but when I see fighters like Keith Jardine who made a disclosed $28,000 for beating one of the sport’s greatest light heavyweights and $14,000 for losing to another when they made well into the six figures, it’s hard to feel sorry for someone who doesn’t have near the name recognition complain about making as much as a fighter who does, regardless if he’s already beat him or not. Noons’ claims this is because EliteXC hasn’t promoted him. Isn’t that what they’re doing by trying to put him on CBS, twcie?!?! Correct me if I’m wrong, but CBS is his ticket to a much larger pay day down the line. I understand fighters can have relatively short careers and they need to make the most out of the time they have, but there has to some long-term thought and planning that goes into their careers.
I am right when I say Diaz is not the number one contender. Elite XC is trying to force this fight for their ratings. Eddie Alaverez is the number one contender and anybody with half a brain knows that a fight with Eddie is a way harder fight for me than Diaz. I will fight Diaz, but Elite has to be fair. I’m not ducking Diaz, why the hell would I be scared of someone I already beat.
Has Eddie Alvarez accomplished more recently than Nick Diaz? Yes. Is he worthy of a title shot? Absolutely, but that’s not how it works. For one, Alvarez isn’t available. Two, what Eddie did in Japan was incredible, but outside of the hardcore fan base, who actually saw it? Part of promoting is building up big fights. Noons vs Alvarez is one of the bigger fights EliteXC could make. There’s no sense in making that fight until they’ve introduced Alvarez to the American audience, especially when they have the Noons/Diaz feud to hype this fight. It just doesn’t make business sense.
Navigating the shark infested waters of the fight game and coming out on top is an art. It’s an art that KJ Noons’ manager, Mark Dion, obviously knows nothing about, and something that Noons is going to learn the hard way. I have no doubts that Noons is going to look back on this decision and deeply regret it. If he had taken this fight and won on national television in front of millions of people, he would have had a lot more bargaining power to bring to the UFC’s (if they would even talk to Dion) or Affliction’s table when ProElite does in fact go under. EliteXC isn’t innocent by any means, but what they were offering Noons far outweighs any of the gripes he has with them. It’s the biggest missed opportunity I can ever recall in this sport’s relatively short existence.