As expected Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz (22-7 MMA, 3-0 SF) and K.J. Noons (10-2 MMA, 2-0 SF) will fight at an Oct. 9 event at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
Strikeforce spokesperson Mike Afromowitz today confirmed with the championship bout with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) and said it'll serve as the night's main event.
The rematch, which is three years in the making, airs as part of the night's Showtime broadcast.
Tickets for the event, which features a co-headliner between Strikeforce women's welterweight champion Sarah Kaufman and challenger Marloes Coenen, are now on sale for Strikeforce Insiders.
Earlier today, MMAjunkie.com reported that Diaz vs. Noons was in the process of being finalized. Noons got the slot after middleweight Jason "Mayhem" Miller, welterweight Joe Riggs and a possibly soon-to-depart Jay Hieron were ruled out as potential opponents.
Noons set up the title fight after scoring a second-round TKO of Jorge Gurgel this past weekend at "Strikeforce: Houston." The victory was Noons' sixth straight going back to 2007, the year he upset Nick Diaz at "EliteXC: Renegade." Noons, who's also a professional boxer, battered Diaz and opened numerous facial cuts, which promoted a ringside physician to halt the bout after the first round.
EliteXC officials never were able to book the rematch, partially due to a contract dispute between Noons and the now-defunct promotion. But when Noons signed with Strikefore earlier this year, the wheels were set in motion.
However, that didn't keep Diaz from confronting Noons at a June 2008 event in Hawaii, when both fighters registered winners against separate fighters.
"Nick has no class, he's a bum, a piece of [expletive], and he and his team disrespected my family and I with their gestures and trash talk and tried to upstage my fight,'' stated Noons, whose camp nearly came to blows with Diaz's.
Since joining Strikeforce, Noons defeated Conor Heun (split decision) and Gurgel at lightweight and now moves up to welterweight to take on Diaz.
Diaz brings a seven-fight win streak of his own into the fight. After Strikeforce victories over Frank Shamrock (179 pounds), Scott Smith (180 pounds) and Marius Zaromskis (for the welterweight title), he went to Japan and submitted Hayato Sakurai at May's DREAM.14 event. Diaz, whose suspension due to his role in April's CBS-televised Strikeforce brawl will end by Oct. 9, now looks for his 12th win in 13 fights.