With the clock ticking for 160-pound champion KJ Noons' EliteXC-issued 5 p.m. PT deadline to sign a bout agreement to face Nick Diaz on an Oct. 4 CBS broadcast, the situation appears at an impasse.
Noons' manager Mark Dion today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) he is unconcerned with EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw's demands.
"The update on [the deadline] is nothing is going to happen with it," Dion said. "That's what's going to happen with that. I don't care about how many threats [Shaw] wants to pull. We'll be doing a press conference if EliteXC doesn't see the light here pretty soon and if Shaw doesn't stop talking [expletive]."
While Shaw has claimed he's been unable to reach Noons or Dion -- while also hinting that Noons and Dion may have issues with his contract and pay -- Dion said the sticking point is the choice of opponent.
"As far as Nick Diaz, he's not the No. 1 contender out there," Dion said. "To [EliteXC] he is. He's the number one (for getting) eyeballs to (watch) them. They're pushing on eyeballs versus a career move for a champion like KJ. KJ is really not the one who gets anything out of the fight. Diaz does and so does ProElite."
Dion said if the situation between Noons and EliteXC does not improve, he will hold a press conference to bring the particulars of the debate to light.
"We'll do a press conference to discuss everything," Dion said. "But there's nothing in it for KJ unless [EliteXC] finally wakes up a little bit. That's why we'll have a press conference. I don't like to talk and beat a company that's already beat down. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully they'll see the light."
Dion insisted that in Noons' fight for widespread recognition, the champion only wants to fight the best EliteXC can possibly offer.
"I would think Eddie Alvarez is the No. 1 contender," Dion said. "He's definitely ranked higher than Nick Diaz. KJ already beat Nick Diaz."
While Alvarez is currently unavailable due to taking personal time off, Dion does not feel that is reason to arrange a rematch with Diaz.
"Eddie Alvarez is getting married, but that's not our problem," Dion said. "People get married in five or 10 minutes."
Detractors of Dion have pointed out that it was the City Boxing owner's negotiating tactics that kept former client Brandon Vera out of the UFC for nearly a year. Dion counters by explaining that situation resulted in a huge windfall for Vera.
"Look at Brandon Vera," Dion said. "He had a long layoff, but he's making more money than the No. 1 ranked [expletive] fighter in the world, Anderson Silva -- or the same amount.
"And now Anderson Silva is getting Bud Light sponsorships from (UFC President) Dana (White) handed down to him. He's getting to fight at 205 (pounds). He's kind of telling them what he wants to do. Why? Because you got people like Brandon Vera, who's on a losing streak and not performing, making more money than the most valuable guy.
"Who do you think negotiated that [expletive] contract a year and a half ago? And if you look at my Post-it, the one I negotiated was a $7 million deal for four years. It's nothing close to [$100,000] and [$100,000] (as a win bonus). As far as trying to bring in the Mark Dion negatives and stuff, good luck. Show me any negatives on it. And that's just a pitch [EliteXC] can use. But hey, I know my [expletive]. I've been around this sport a long, long time."
In the end, Dion insists it is important for observers to realize his role in the negotiation process.
"I don't bend over for nobody, and I don't let my fighters do it," Dion said. "I'm not a booking agent. I don't book my fighters and schmooze deals to work for the promoters. I work for my fighters."
And Dion has a message for anyone watching closely as Shaw's deadline nears.
"Forget 5 o'clock," Dion said. "I ain't waiting until 5 o'clock. If [EliteXC officials] are holding their breath, then someone's going to pass out."