After Surviving in Strikeforce, K.J. Noons Hopes for Move to UFC


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Strikeforce’s struggles have also been K.J. Noons’ struggles.

The promotion hosts its final event Saturday, and after his bout against Ryan Couture, Noons will be ready to move on.

“I’m just excited if anything and also excited to hopefully move to the UFC and just really get more fights,” Noons told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I fought [last] in March. Strikeforce, this year, really didn’t keep me consistent, and that’s probably not their fault due to shows cancelled and the demise or the kind of fizzling out, but that really sucks for someone like me who makes his living off fighting.”

Noons fought four times in 2010, including three times for Strikeforce. In 2011, though, he competed twice and then last year just once.

“It’s more surviving,” Noons answered when asked if fighting once a year was enough to make a living. “It puts you in a really sad situation, especially if you have a family. It’s no fun. I know the guys over at the UFC, they definitely get their three fights in a year. That’s never a problem with all the shows they have. Hopefully I get to move over to that side and get more fights.”

Noons’ bout Saturday could give him the opportunity to impress the UFC brass. He’s one of the best strikers in the lightweight division, but he’s also lost three of his last four. Against Couture, he needs a win.

“I’ve watched some tape on him,” Noons said. “I think he’s a good fighter, a good wrestler, good all around, real lengthy, good up-and-comer, just a really good fighter. It’s going to be a great fight. He has good strategies coming into the fight, and I think he’s a game opponent.”

Couture is the 30-year-old son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture. He enters the fight with a 5-1 record, which means he’ll be giving up a fair amount of experience to Noons, who will also be the superior striker. The fight could come down to Noons’ ability to stay on his feet and let his hands go -- the same situation he’d likely find himself in in the UFC.

“I have to be a better all-around fighter to compete at the top level,” Noons said. “I just have to prepare for that kind of stuff. If I can do that, I don’t see myself having a problem moving on with my career, staying in the game and also still being one of the most exciting fighters to watch.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:29:29).

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