Come April 11, Strikeforce will have its lightweight champion Josh Thomson fighting on their first card on Showtime but it will not be against EliteXC lightweight champion K.J. Noons.
Speaking on MMA Weekly Radio, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said that Noons would instead focus on his boxing career for the time being rather than accepting a fight with Thomson. The April 11 card will be broadcast live on Showtime from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
Noons defeated Nick Diaz for the title in November of 2007 in a bout that was stopped due to cuts. He subsequently defeated Yves Edwards in his only title defense. Soon after EliteXC officials wanted to have a rematch between Noons and Diaz which did not sit well with Noons who outright refused to fight Diaz again. Noons and manager Mark Dion stated that Diaz was not the number one contender and also was unhappy that a man he had already defeated was making significantly more money than he was.
Coker went on to mention that Noons will have an open invitation to fight for the organization if and when he decides to resume his mixed martial arts career. He reassured everyone that Thomson will still be fighting on the card.
The veteran promoter is excited and realizes just how valuable Thomson is to Strikeforce and considers him a world class fighter who could take on the top three or four lightweights in the world and certainly hold his own.
Coker also promised that sometime over the next few days the card for the inaugural Showtime card will have more fights added to it.