MMANews.com's own Chris Howie recently caught up with the newest EliteXC champion, 160 lb. titlist K.J. Noons, to discuss his title victory over top-ranked Nick Diaz at the “Renegade” show from November 10th. Below is a complete transcript of the interview, which was conducted on Monday, November 12, 2007.
K.J. NOONS INTERVIEW (NOV. 12, 2007)
Chris Howie of MMANews.com: This is Chris Howie with MMANews.com and today I am speaking with the newly crowned EliteXC Lightweight champion K.J. Noons. K.J., how are you today?
KJ Noons: Man, I’m doing great.
MMANews.com: How does it feel to be the new champion?
KJ Noons: It feels awesome man but I don’t think it has really hit me yet.
MMANews.com: Do you have the belt with you right now?
KJ Noons: [laughs] It’s home on my bed.
MMANews.com: Going to keep it under your pillow?
KJ Noons: [laughs] Yeah.
MMANews.com: How did you feel about the fight?
KJ Noons: It felt awesome man. I just got to watch it for the first time today and it was a great fight for me. The doctors stopped it and I came out with the win. If they had of let it gone on it would have just been more of what happened in the first round – only worse.
MMANews.com: You looked great in the first round. You were out-striking him and your takedown defense was looking really good. Is that something you worked on coming into the fight?
KJ Noons: Yeah I worked on it a lot but I work on everything a lot. Like I’ve said when we talked in the past, a lot of people haven’t really had the chance to see me fight but I’m naturally good at jiu-jitsu and wrestling and I work on it all the time. I have some buddies that are college wrestlers and I have no problem hanging with them.
MMANews.com: What’s next for you at this point?
KJ Noons: I’m just enjoying the win right now but if I had to guess I’d say it will probably be pro boxing.
MMANews.com: So you think you’ll be boxing before you defend the title?
KJ Noons: Most definitely. I want to build my boxing record up and get it up to par. I want to be a real contender in the boxing world. I’m not sure when I’ll be fighting next but if I had to guess it will be in the first quarter of the New Year. Elite usually has their shows what, every 3-4 months?
MMANews.com: Something around there. They had one in September and they just had the one Saturday night.
KJ Noons: Yeah, so I don’t know but I’m fucking pumped man.
MMANews.com: When I talked to you a few weeks ago you were confident and ready to go…
KJ Noons: …yeah I was ready to go. Everybody that knows me or has worked out with me or seen me fight knows how hard I train and know my capabilities and that’s why a lot of my friends won a lot of money on this fight. They knew I was going to win just like I knew I was going to win. Anyone that knows me knows I was going to come out on top and that goes back to the people that haven’t really seen me fight. They may not have known but now they do.
MMANews.com: After the first round did you feel they would end up stopping the fight? I know they checked the cuts once in the first round.
KJ Noons: Yeah, they checked the cuts but there was only one cut at that time.
MMANews.com: Then you opened up his nose and the other eye…
New EliteXC Lightweight champion — K.J. Noons …
KJ Noons: Yeah then it was just getting nasty. I was ready for whatever though. If the doctors hadn’t of stopped the fight I still would have been ready to keep going.
MMANews.com: Was it the knees that opened him up the first time?
KJ Noons: Yeah. Then I caught him really good a few more times after they checked the cuts and it opened him up real good. I was circling a lot and every punch I was throwing – he was coming forward, so they were hitting him.
MMANews.com: How did you feel right after the fight.
KJ Noons: It was crazy man. I was so pumped up. All that hard work man – hours every day, it felt really good to have a big win like that. I was kind of overwhelmed.
MMANews.com: Did you feel Nick over-reacted?
KJ Noons: Nick's a warrior, man. He wants to fight just as much as me but by the way it looked this morning the people that were driving him to the airport had to show him where the car was and stuff. He couldn’t see out of either eye. It probably would have only gotten worse but I know that adrenaline can only take you so far.
MMANews.com: Do you have The Fight Network where you are?
KJ Noons: I’m not too sure, I don’t think so.
MMANews.com: I watched their “After The Bell” show this morning and they had your interview and such but they didn’t have one with Nick. They had one with Kit Cope though…
KJ Noons: Oh really, what was he saying?
MMANews.com: He blamed it more on scar tissue and past cuts that weren’t healed properly. He also said that you basically got lucky in the fight…
KJ Noons: He said I was lucky?
MMANews.com: Yeah. I think the quote was “Karl, you got luckier than a dog with two peckers.”
KJ Noons: Funny.
MMANews.com: Moving on, lets talk about your boxing. You feel the boxing ring is next?
KJ Noons: Yeah, I want to keep on moving forward and accomplish my goals. People said I couldn’t win a MMA title but I kept on knocking on the door and an opportunity came. I want to defend that title against the best in the world. I want to move forward and win a boxing title. I know it sounds weird but that’s my dream.
MMANews.com: There is always a first for everything…
KJ Noons: Exactly. It sounds nuts the more I think about it but that’s my dream and as long as you stay persistent in anything you do you’ll at least get a chance.
MMANews.com: What is your boxing record right now?
KJ Noons: 8-1 with 6 KO’s.
MMANews.com: And you would fight at 154 lbs?
KJ Noons: Yup.
MMANews.com: It must feel good to have that belt.
KJ Noons: Hey, it’s a nice belt [laughs]. I trained hard and I was ready for a five round war. That’s what I train for. I put in a lot of time and did a lot of training and it paid off in the end.
MMANews.com: Alright K.J., I won’t keep you any longer. Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans to close out?
KJ Noons: Just thanks for the support and keep on watching me. I’m going to keep putting on exciting fights for everyone.
MMANews.com: Ok, congratulations on the big win and have a good one.
KJ Noons: Thanks man, you too.
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