by Jason Kelly
Fresh off the rivalry of Donald Cerrone and Jamie Varner, MMA fans get another hate filled battle on October 9th when a pissed off Nick Diaz will try to avenge his loss to the arrogant, and spiteful, KJ Noons.
The controversial Nick Diaz doesn’t need motive to be pissed off at anyone, that’s a given, although hating Noons is fairly easy to do as it is. Diaz obviously wants to avenge his failure, and Noons talking smack encourages Diaz, but Noons is detested because of the arrogant way he carries himself, the “I’m better than you are” smirk that’s constantly on display, also his thoughts of superiority which are false. Let’s face it; he produces results but one fleeting look at Noons could make an individual loathe him, he’s the Keanu Reeves of MMA.
Diaz wanted this rematch since he was defeated by Noons due to a laceration on Diaz’s face, and so have I. In typical Diaz fashion, he and his entourage confronted Noons after Noons conquered Yves Edwards in the debunked EliteXC. Diaz and company rushed the cage taunting Noons as well as Noons father Carl with obscenities and middle fingers, which quickly escalated to the Diaz brothers entering the cage for the shoving to commence. Noons on the other hand went about his taunting differently, accompanying Bas Rutten and Kenny Rice on Inside MMA where he flaunted a photograph of Nick Diaz’s face following their first fight, and recently calling out Diaz at a Strikeforce press conference by using what is becoming Diaz’s coined phrase “Don’t be scared Homie!”.
Noons’ desires were approved and we get to observe it this Saturday. This doesn’t have many similarities with their first fight besides the combatants involved. Their initial bout was at 155 pounds, a weight I think Diaz performed horrible at, his comfort weight is clearly the welterweight division, he’s fought and succeeded from 155 to 185 but his best performances are at 170. Noons increasing from 155 to 170 for this championship encounter isn’t as detrimental to his game as it is for Diaz to drop to 155, making me believe Diaz will execute better and Noons will perform as usual. While Diaz enjoys showcasing his boxing, I think he’d be best to parade his Cesar Gracie BJJ black belt.
I love watching Diaz’s reckless, effective, in your face style of boxing but, the head up hands down method could result in Diaz getting knocked out brutally. Noons began boxing at the age of 6, he crossed over from boxing to MMA and is so confident in his boxing skills his camp is currently talking to Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather for a boxing match; not the guy you want to toy with on your feet. Diaz can try to play with Noons’ mind by taunting him early in the fight, then drag his ass to the ground for a clinic on gogoplatas and triangles, even though Noons trains diligently in the grappling department, playing with Diaz’s ground game is not the world KJ wants to visit.
Whether you hate KJ Noons or not, you have to respect his skills. The same way Diaz infuriates people with his antics, his fight game cannot be omitted. As much as Diaz appears to be an emotional fighter, I tend to think he is an intelligent fighter and when he is dishing his trash talk while adding his fists; it’s not negatively affecting his game. Diaz’s dilemma is proving a point, meaning he might try to prove he is a better striker than Noons, he’s been on a roll lately with wins over Marius Zaromskis and Scott Smith that were very impressive and Noons hasn’t lost since 2007, looking better with each win. When the cage door closes this Saturday in San Jose you’ll be able to cut the tension with a knife, each fighter will embrace the war and the fireworks will begin, now it’s a matter of who will fight the smarter fight and be the victor, if Nick Diaz wants to continue his climb up the welterweight mountain and silence KJ Noons, he must win decisively. On that note, let’s see what a Cesar Gracie black belt can do to arguably the best boxer in Strikeforce’s 155 and 170 pound divisions.