"Inside MMA" preview: KJ Noons trashes Nick Diaz, refuels heated rivalry
by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Jun 26, 2008 at 6:13 pm ET
During an EliteXC event earlier this month, EliteXC lightweight champ KJ Noons and Nick Diaz won separate bouts. However, when they met in the cage after Noons' victory to hype an upcoming rematch, all hell broke loose.
This week as a guest on "Inside MMA," Noons ripped into Diaz, saying -- among other things -- that his rival doesn't deserve a rematch, that people are using the notion of Diaz's scar tissue an an excuse, and that his new nickname should be "The Artist" due to how badly he rearranged Diaz's face in their first fight in late 2007.
As part of our partnership with the weekly MMA news show (HDNet, Fridays at 9:30 p.m. ET), MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) now has an exclusive preview of that "Inside MMA" segment.
Joining Noons on this week's panel are UFC heavyweight Justin McCully (who received very positive reviews after his most recent "Inside MMA" appearance) and highly ranked female fighter Debi Purcell.
However, the attention quickly turned to Noons.
After the post-fight confrontation turned into a shoving match between the two fighters' camps at "EliteXC: Return of the King," the organization appeared to have box-office gold. However, earlier this week, EliteXC confirmed that Diaz will next fight King of the Cage veteran Thomas Denny -- not Noons -- at the second EliteXC-CBS event, which takes place July 26 in Diaz's hometown of Stockton, Calif.
It's assumed that Noons and Diaz will meet again sometime this year, but when hosts Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten asked Noons about it, he brushed aside the fight.
"I was thinking about this earlier," Noons said. "Does he deserve a rematch? No. Is he the number-one contender? No. I want to fight other guys out there. But do people want to see the rematch? Of course."
However, Noons admits that it'll probably make sense, financially, to go through with the bout. But he doesn't think things will go any differently for Diaz the second time.
"What it boils down to is I need to take care of myself," he said. "Money talks. I think a lot of people forget what happened the first time. ... I think a lot of people want to see the rematch, (but) I destroyed this guy in five minutes.
While watching clips of their first fight -- Diaz was cut badly with a barrage of punches, and the doctor halted the bout after the first round -- Noons took umbrage when McCully mentioned Diaz's scar tissue.
"That's another thing, too," Noons said. "A lot of people say scar tissue. [Diaz is] not a professional boxer. He hasn't had any real pro fights. He hasn't taken a lot of damage on his face, so I don't know where they come up with (this idea) of all this scar tissue."
Then, to add insult to injury, Noons pulled out a photo taken of Diaz's face after their first meeting, and he asked the cameras to zoom in on it.
Diaz's swollen, bloodied and bruised mug filled the TV screen.
"Zoom in real close," Noons instructed. "You see this? This took five minutes. My name is KJ, so I'm going to do a little trash-talking now for you guys. I'm going to make it a little fun. ... They've come up with nicknames for me for each (one of my fights). For this one, I think I'll be called 'The Artist' because this right here, it's a masterpiece. I painted this."
For the full segment, check out the embedded clip.
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If you go to the link you can find another link to the full interview. I got to admit the last bit with the picture was pretty damn funny. I would definitely like to see them rematch.