The drama between KJ Noons, Nick Diaz, and Elite XC has finally come to a head as the fight promotion announced on its official website, proelite.com, that they are effectively stripping lightweight champion Noons of the title.
The official announcement reads as follows…
“We are stripping KJ of his championship belt for refusing to defend against (Nick) Diaz,” Lappen said in the statement. “It’s a very unfortunate situation but we cannot have belt-holders who refuse to fight the top contenders. We want champions who will fight anyone, anytime, anyplace. That’s the mentality all champions should have.”
Through this extended battle between Elite XC management, Noons and manager Mark Dion, each side has taken a firm stance in not giving into any demands. For those unfamiliar with the happenings of the past few months, the following should clear things up.
KJ earned the lightweight title by previously defeating Nick Diaz via doctor’s stoppage. In a division (160 lbs) that was for all realistic purposes created for Diaz to dominate, Elite XC determined Diaz would soon earn #1 contender status after putting together a win outside the organization and one under the XC banner. Unhappy with the supposedly unbiased push to make Diaz the lightweight poster boy, Noons and company refused a bout agreement to rematch the man he quite recently TKO’d for the belt.
In the end, no-one wins here. The fans now will likely see Noons fight elsewhere, Diaz to continue on with his “special” brand of Stockton-bred antics and the legitimacy of Elite XC’s champions status to suffer even more so than it already has.
It is important to mention Mr. Lappen of the upper Elite XC administration ranks mentions he hopes KJ can continue to fight, as he still has the room in his contract to do so.
“Personally, I do not think it was a smart career move, but I’m sure [Noons] sees it differently,” Lappen said. “KJ has two more fights remaining on his contract, so we are still looking forward to having him fight for us again soon, but not as our world champion.”
Something tells us fans that this is hardly the end of this well-publicized feud.