K.J. Noons on Strikeforce Bout with Josh Thomson: ‘It’s Gonna Be a Barnburner’


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The women’s bantamweight title bout between Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey has garnered nearly all of the media attention in the weeks leading up to Saturday’s Strikeforce card.

Once fight night is over, however, K.J. Noons wouldn’t be surprised if the water-cooler talk centers around his co-main event tussle with former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson.

“I don’t really have to say too much. My fight is always ‘Fight of the Night,’ and K.J. Noons is definitely stealing the show. Look at my track record,” Noons said during a recent media conference call. “I’m really excited to be fighting somebody like Josh Thomson; it’s gonna be a barnburner. I’m training as hard as I’ve ever trained, so I’m ready.”

The former EliteXC lightweight king was victorious in his last outing, beating Billy Evangelista via unanimous decision at Strikeforce “Melendez vs. Masvidal” in December. Prior to that, the Hawaii native had lost two straight, falling to Jorge Masvidal in June and Nick Diaz in October 2010.

A win over Masvidal likely would have earned Noons a title shot against Strikeforce 155-pound titlist Gilbert Melendez, but instead it was “Gamebred” who received that opportunity. A barren Strikeforce roster allows for a quick turnaround, however, and now the winner of Noons-Thomson is being touted as the next challenger for the lightweight strap. Noons isn’t making any future reservations these days.

“I kind of put my foot in my mouth when I said I wanted a title shot and lost [to Masvidal],” he said. “I’m kind of superstitious, so I just want to concentrate on the fight ahead of me.”

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker was noncommittal regarding the No. 1 contender status of the winner of Saturday’s fight, which takes place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

“Both of these guys are definitely at the top of the division. We’ll make a decision based on performances,” Coker said.

Regardless of what the future holds, the man known as “King” is looking forward to putting on a show. According to Noons, it’s a foregone conclusion that his fight will entertain the masses.

“It’s something that’s in your blood,” he said. “I’ve had almost 45 pro fights in boxing, kickboxing and MMA, and every single fight I’ve had has always been ‘Fight of the Night.’ I have a true passion for fighting and it’s going to be exciting.”

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