MMANews.com's own Chris Howie recently caught up with top EliteXC 160 lb. contender K.J. Noons to discuss his upcoming EXC title bout with former UFC and PRIDE veteran Nick Diaz at the November 10th “Renegade” show airing live on the Showtime premium cable network. Below is a complete transcript of the interview which was conducted on Friday, November 2, 2007.
K.J. NOONS INTERVIEW (NOV. 2, 2007)
Chris Howie of MMANews.com: This is Chris Howie with MMANews.com and today I am speaking with EliteXC Lightweight title challenger KJ Noons. How are you today, KJ?
KJ Noons: I’m doing great man.
MMANews.com: What have you been up to in preparation for your fight with Nick Diaz?
KJ Noons: Everything man: weights, running, jiu-jitsu, boxing. Just getting ready for everything that he can throw at me.
MMANews.com: How has training been coming along?
KJ Noons: It’s been great man. I have a good team behind me and I’ve been getting a lot of good work-outs in.
MMANews.com: Who have you been training with?
KJ Noons: Recently I’ve been training with a personal trainer for weight-lifting and such, and then all of my coaches and different sparring partners.
MMANews.com: Now this belt is a 160 lb. title and not 155 lb., correct?
KJ Noons: Yup.
MMANews.com: Will there be any fights at 155 lbs. or will this be strictly 160 lbs?
KJ Noons: I know on ShoXC they do catch weights but this title will be 160 lbs. It can definitely lead to more exciting fights because guys can come down from 170 lbs. and such.
MMANews.com: How are you feeling you match up with Nick?
KJ Noons: Well I think it’s a good match-up. He’s the number one guy in the world and I’m just glad to have the opportunity to have that chance to fight him. It’s great to be fighting someone that is that caliber of fighter. I have nothing to lose in this fight and everything to gain. He’s the number one guy in the world because he just beat [Takanori] Gomi. He’s great on the ground, everybody knows that. I’m good on the ground, I wouldn’t say I’m great, but no one has ever really ever seen my ground game.
MMANews.com: What are your thoughts on Nick standing up? He’s a pretty good technical boxer.
KJ Noons: Man, I think that makes the match-up even better. I think that he does have really good stand-up, he’s a southpaw and that could give me a few problems. The way I fight – every fight is exciting. I’m going in there to win so I won’t be letting down. It’s going to be head-to-head.
MMANews.com: How has your jiu-jitsu training been going?
KJ Noons: I’ve been doing a lot of submission wrestling, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu. Pretty much everyone knows that I don’t plan on trying for a submission, I’ll just be trying to stop the submissions and make it a war. I think that he is probably going to try and stand and then take it to the ground to finish it. I’ve just been working on everything so that he can’t submit. I want to bring the fight and I want to make it a fight.
MMANews.com: Your last fight was definitely entertaining.
KJ Noons: Thanks.
MMANews.com: What did you learn or take from that fight?
KJ Noons: Well, I have a lot of experience but I don’t have a lot of TV time so a lot of people haven’t been able to see what I am able to do. That fight was pretty much K.J. Noons at work right there. I love to bring the fight and I love to fight and no matter what win, lose, or draw my fights are always exciting.
MMANews.com: Going back to the Krazy Horse [Charles Bennett] fight, there was a lot of smack talk going into it. Did that affect you mentally and get into your head?
KJ Noons: Well, yeah I did talk a lot of shit going into that fight but that is not my character. I was just trying to get into his head a little bit. It’s funny because it seems like every time I talk shit I end up not doing good. So I’m going to throw that out the window and stay focused and leave the shit talking to everybody else. I want people to watch me because of how I fight, not because of how I run my mouth.
MMANews.com: Is a rematch with Krazy something we could see down the road?
KJ Noons: If they offered it to me. I’d love to get a rematch just to solidify that I got caught with a good punch.
Noons battles Nick Diaz for the EXC 160 lb. title on 11/10…
MMANews.com: They say that is what he’s known for [laughs].
KJ Noons: Yeah he’s right out of fuckin' left field [laughs].
MMANews.com: What does it mean to you to be fighting for the EXC Lightweight title?
KJ Noons: It’s a great opportunity for me to not only fight for the title but to also fight Nick Diaz who is the best in the world. So it wouldn’t just be like winning some ordinary belt and make me a paper champion, it would be beating the number one guy in the world. It would mean everything to me to win it. It has been a long road of training, working, and fighting to get to that point. A lot of people don’t know about me because of I haven’t been on TV a lot but I’ve been doing this a long time, probably a lot longer than Nick Diaz, granted he has fought a lot bigger names and been on bigger shows. It would be a top pinnacle in my career.
MMANews.com: Now with Nick getting that win taken off his record due to testing positive in that fight with Gomi, do you still see him as winning that fight?
KJ Noons: Well the way I see it – he won the fight. I don’t promote any type of drugs or whatever, but something like steroids is way different than marijuana. I don't think the marijuana would have stopped him from losing but anyone that uses steroids is a cheater. Look at Sean Sherk, come on man, he had to be juicing, he’s just too shredded. You can tell when people are on it. I mean there is the chance of over-the-counter stuff I guess too.
MMANews.com: At that level those things should be monitored though.
KJ Noons: Yeah being on the top of the world would be the ultimate.
MMANews.com: Is there anyone that is on top of your radar in terms of fights down the road.
KJ Noons: Oh I have some people in mind but I don’t want to say anything until I win the title.
KJ Noons: And it’s nobody in MMA.
KJ Noons: Boxing.
MMANews.com: Would you consider doing the cross and doing MMA and boxing at the same time.
KJ Noons: Yeah most definitely. Many people have said that I would never be a world champion at anything and now I’m getting my shot. Right now I’m getting my shot at MMA and it’s coming up really close.
MMANews.com: We’re only two weeks out. How is your weight at this point?
KJ Noons: I’m cutting hard right now.
MMANews.com: What do you normally walk around at?
KJ Noons: Before I start camp it is usually around 175 lbs. Getting down to 155 lbs. is really hard for me, it’s super, super hard. Even getting down to 160 lbs. is hard.
MMANews.com: Is that comfortable weight or would you consider 170 lbs.?
KJ Noons: No, I like 160 lbs. The only reason I’d like to do 155 lbs. is because of 154 lbs. in boxing. 160 lbs. I don’t really have a problem. I wouldn’t be surprised if I am bigger than Nick. He’ll be taller for sure but I think I’ll be bigger.
MMANews.com: What is it like working for EXC?
KJ Noons: You know they’re really getting the promotion going and they are really doing a great job. They are really trying to build their fighters and they are giving everyone a great opportunity to build their name. They are building their fighters to be a name brand and not promoting them like other companies such as the UFC.
MMANews.com: What are your thoughts on the Randy Couture situation in the UFC right now?
KJ Noons: I think it is great for the sport. I mean look at the PPV numbers, quote me if I’m wrong, but they are grossing like what 30-40 million on PPV buys?
MMANews.com: In that ballpark I’d say.
KJ Noons: And then they are paying their fighters like under a million per card? They are crooks – straight up. I wish a lot of fighters would stick up for themselves and get paid more instead of just taking it. I hope Randy sets an example and hopefully all the fighters start to get taken a little better. It’s hard doing all the things it takes to be an MMA fighter. Most of the money should go to the fighters.
MMANews.com: At the end of the day I guess there is no MMA without the fighters.
KJ Noons: Yeah exactly. I’m glad Randy did it. I hope people follow on this and don’t sell themselves short.
MMANews.com: Who are some of your favorite fighters to watch?
KJ Noons: I really like Shogun [Rua]. He’s fun to watch and explosive, especially when he was back in Pride. I don’t really know who else. I have a lot. I have respect for anyone and everybody that gets up in the ring or cage. Once you’re in there you get a whole new respect for fighting.
MMANews.com: What is a day of training like for K.J. Noons?
KJ Noons: Well, I wake up and get a shake at about 5:30 am. I hit some weights at 6:00 am., then get a little bit of cardio in. Come back home and rest. Go back and train in the afternoon and do some sparring, boxing, MMA, jiu-jitsu, some wrestling, just a little bit of everything. Come home and rest and maybe play some Nintendo games or Xbox 360. Then at night I’ll watch some tape or go do some slow drills and go over some things and then maybe some more 360 and then walk the dog.
MMANews.com: What games do you play?
KJ Noons: Halo 3, man.
MMANews.com: I hear it’s good.
KJ Noons: [laughs] Yeah I tell my roommate all the time he should take a picture of me sitting in my underwear, with my controller, and my little ear piece like a dork and post it on the internet and say “look at K.J. Noons training really hard!”
MMANews.com: [laughs] Alright K.J., I won’t keep you any longer you sound like you need to get to bed.
KJ Noons: Dude I’m so tired. I’ve been training so fucking hard. [laughs]
MMANews.com: Anything you would like to say to anyone out there?
KJ Noons: Yeah. Just tune in November 10th. It’s going to be a war and if it’s not I’m going to make it a war. If you want to check me out, I’m down at City Boxing in San Diego and you can check out cityboxing.com and I’ll have kjnoons.com up pretty soon. I also just want to tell everyone – thanks for the support.
MMANews.com: Ok K.J., I just want to thank you for speaking with me today and I wish you luck again Nick Diaz on November 10th.
KJ Noon: Thank you bro.
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