K.J. Noons Willing to Work His Way Up, But Eventually Wants to Fight Diaz Brothers



K.J. Noons’ move to the UFC could eventually renew old hostilities with the Diaz family.

The lightweight is officially on his way over from Strikeforce, where he lost a unanimous decision to Nick Diaz in October 2010. That bout was a rematch following Noons’ stoppage win over Diaz in EliteXC in November 2007.

If he wants to stay at 155 pounds, though, he could always meet up with Nick’s brother, Nate Diaz.

“I think that’s a great fight for me,” Noons told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I think that’s a great fight for him. We all have history. … Good style matchup. Also, I think [Nick Diaz] would be a good rubber match, but I’m not looking to cut corners or talk a bunch of s--t and just get in there just yet. I know I’ve got to work my way up. [Nate] is the No. 1 contender in the UFC, or he just fought for the title, so we’ll see how that goes. And Nick’s fighting for the title, so as much as I would like to talk s--t and stir the pot, I’m sure my opportunity’s going to come and I can my work my way up. If not, it seems like controversy follows me, so some way or another it will happen.”

Noons dropped his Jan. 12 bout against Ryan Couture at Strikeforce’s final event, but the split decision has received plenty of criticism.

“At this point, you almost have to just move on and forget it,” Noons said. “It took a big chunk of my change. … What can I do? I can be on this radio show crying and bitching -- ‘Oh, feel sorry for me’ -- but nothing’s going to change. I’ve just got to dust myself off, have that mentality and heal up, get back in the gym, get better.”

The controversial decision could have cost Noons more than his win purse. It marked his fourth loss in five fights and might have kept him out of the UFC, but UFC President Dana White is bringing him over anyway.

“Dana White, thanks a lot, man,” Noons said. “I really appreciate it. He saw the fight. He even said I got robbed, and I get to keep fighting, which is awesome.”

Noons expects to be much more active in the UFC, and he’ll also have a lot more eyeballs watching him compete.

“I’m just really excited for people to see my style of fighting and the type of fighter I am,” he said. “I think you guys have known and the more serious fans have seen my fights in the past, but the general public, I don’t think, knows what type of fighter I am. That’s a big stage for you to showcase your skills.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:03:23).

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