KJ Noons Stripped of EliteXC Title
EliteXC has announced on its website that KJ Noons has been stripped of his EliteXC Lightweight title for failing to agree to defend his championship against top contender, Nick Diaz. He turned down offers to fight Diaz on the October 4th CBS show or on the following Showtime show. He also turned down previous efforts to have him fight on the previous CBS show from Stockton, California.
Jeremy Lappen, Head of EliteXC Fight Operations, states on the site, ““We are stripping KJ of his championship belt for refusing to defend against Diaz. 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.”
Lappen goes on to say, ““I feel very bad for KJ because I like him a lot on a personal level and have always thought he could be a big star.He’s charismatic, has a very exciting fighting style and is a top level fighter. So I’m obviously disappointed that he has chosen to take this stance.”
“I don’t understand why he would turn down a chance to be a headliner on CBS on Oct. 4. KJ then turned down the fight again when we offered him a headlining spot on our next SHOWTIME date against Nick. From my view, it is a fight against a top-named opponent in Diaz (someone who beat the No. 1 fighter in the world in his weight class), a fighter KJ has bad blood with and a fight the fans really wanted to see. It seemed like a great opportunity for KJ to me.”
“Personally, I do not think it was a smart career move, but I’m sure he sees it differently. 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.’’
One has to question the management advice that KJ Noons is receiving. The publicity alone from appearing on the CBS show with Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock would be huge for his young career. This card could be the most watched MMA card ever with a main event of Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock. However, Noons’ manager, Mark Dion has argued that Noons is not being fairly compensated by EliteXC, and that Noons should face more deserving title contenders than Diaz – an opponent that Noons already beat. The only other top lightweight contender in EliteXC, Eddie Alvarez, is unavailable as he has recently married and is recovering from injuries sustained in the Dream Lightweight tournament.
Dion was also involved in questionable activities while representing Brandon Vera. Vera, who terminated Dion in 2007, claimed Dion made sponsorship violations and failed to communicate information concerning UFC contract offers including signing bonuses to Vera. The California State Athletic Commission did rule that Vera had no evidence confirming these violations.
On August 28, 2008, Noons did offer his own statement claiming he was poorly paid, poorly publicized, and that (former EliteXC front man) Gary Shaw did not respect the boxing contract he signed with Noons for four fights.
Noons said, “In almost two years I have made approximately $83,000? After paying my trainers and managers fee, I have $50,000 thousand. After taxes, probably 30 grand. Divide that by two years for $15,000 thousand a year. Divide by 52 weeks that amounts to approximately $300 a week. I do not know anybody that can survive on that amount of money. My buddies make more money than that in a couple days being a bus boy or bar back. And yes you can argue I should fight more. Elite XC doesn’t give me fights or promote me, they ice me. Gary Shaw Productions only gave me one of the agreed upon four fights per the boxing contract.”
Although stripped of his title, KJ Noons still must fulfill the final two fights on his EliteXC contract as EliteXC will not be releasing him.
See also:EliteXC in Trouble