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Thursday, Jan 17, 2013

New Father KJ Noons: “The Goal is to be The Best in the World” in the UFC

K.J. Noons

By Joshua Molina

By now, it’s safe to say that the vast majority of fans agree: KJ Noons got robbed last Saturday in his fight against Ryan Couture, the son of MMA and UFC icon Randy Couture.

But Noons is over it.

“”I feel like I won the fight,” Noons told fcfighter.com. “But I don’t want to be a crier. It just sucks.”

Noons, according to two cageside judges, lost a split decision to Couture on the final Strikeforce show. Most other observers believed that Noons had not only won the fight, but that he probably won every round. Two judges gave the fight to Couture, 29-28. One judge scored the fight 30-27, for Noons.

It was the latest sad chapter for Noons, who has now lost four out of his last five fights. The loss meant that Noons walked away with only $41,000 for the fight. That’s not a bad payday for a fighter headlining a Showtime Extreme card, but the bad decision cost him a winner’s bonus of $36,000.

Cagefighting is Noons’ only source of income — and prior to Saturday, his last fight was in March of 2012. But despite Noons’ recent bad run, there’s a lot for him to be excited about.

Noons will get at least one fight in the UFC in 2013. Noons, known for his explosive striking and exciting fights, will probably get a few fights in the UFC, as long as he can start winning.

Born in Hawaii and now living in San Diego, California, Noons has fighting in his blood. His father Karl James Noons was a well-regarded kickboxer. That striking ability carried over to his son, who is one of the best stand-up fighters in MMA.

At a time when MMA is dominated by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belts, Noons is a breath of fresh air. He comes to fight. His stand-up, coupled with his training in Muay Thai fighting makes for thrilling fights, even if he loses, or falls victim to a bad decision.

His loss last March to Josh Thomson was frustrating because Thomson basically took him down every round and held him down, relying on his wrestling skills. Noons was frustrated that Thomson chose not to stand and fight with him.

Still, the fight forced Noons to work on his wrestling takedown defense. It appeared to work against Couture, who seemed outmatched by the more well-rounded Noons. The most trouble Noons dealt with in the fight came from Couture’s accidental headbutt, a collision that annoyed Noons and briefly slowed him down.

Noons believed he did everything perfectly in the fight.
“There wasn’t really anything that I would have changed,” Noons said.

Noons stopped short of suggesting that Couture’s name may have helped him walk away with a decision.

“Maybe, maybe not,” Noons said.

Noons said the UFC told him to heal up and then when he’s ready the company will find a spot for him on a card. He said he needs to fight more. There is no shortage of fighters in the UFC, so he thinks it won’t be tough for him to find a fight.

“I can go there and be consistent,” Noons said. “I pretty much have been off for a year (prior to the Couture fight).

Noons said he needs to fight for his family.

“My priorities have definitely changed,” Noons said. “My son (Karl James Noons) is three months old. I am trying to provide for my family.”

Noons said he will call the UFC sometime next week and start moving to get on a show. Besides the cut from the head butt and a few bruises, Noons said his body is healthy and he is ready to fight.

Like many of the other ex-Strikeforce fighters, he might be looking to fight on the April 20 UFC on FOX show in San Jose, California.

He might even ask for a rematch with Couture. Calling people out, however, is not his style. He realizes that his recent run of losses doesn’t put him in a position to start demanding who he fights. He is just eager to showcase his exciting fighting style — and get back to winning.

The man who holds a TKO victory over Nick Diaz, and battled him to a close decision loss in a rematch, is hungry to prove himself to the world all over again.

“Of course, the goal is to be the best in the world,” Noons said. “Right now I can’t be that. I have to work my way up. The goal is to fight the best and be the best.”

posted by JoshuaM @ 5:44 pm
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