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KJ Noons Talks About Nick Diaz – SportsUntapped.com
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Added September 30th, 2010 by Matt

KJ Noons Talks About Nick Diaz
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KJ Noons and Cesar Gracie recently met the media for a conference call about the upcoming Strikeforce bout between Noons and Nick Diaz. Gracie sat in for Diaz as he has never done conference calls with opposing fighters. During the call Gracie mentioned that Diaz is, “too busy training to be on the phone right now”. Here are portions of the Q & A with Noons.

Is moving up to 170 pounds a big deal?

Noons: “No. I told Scott (Coker) that when I came to STRIKEFORCE that I wanted to fight the best guys.  This is a fight that we talked about from the beginning that we wanted to make. I have been off the MMA scene but I have been boxing ever since EliteXC went under. I have stayed busy, and making 170 is a lot easier than making 155. I had to go under a whole body transformation to the make 155. I am in this to fight the best, beat the best. At the end of the day, people want to see fights and I want to make that happen.  So 170 is not that hard to make.”

How do you prepare for someone with a unique boxing style like Nick?

Noons: “I have respect for Nick as a fighter. He has a good style. I like watching his fights. Styles make matches, and that is what is going to make this match exciting. I don’t have respect for him as a person. He has a unique fighting style and it works for him, but it wouldn’t work for me.  On October 9 you are going to see how the styles match up. Either you like his style or you like my style. I would have to be stupid to think he isn’t going to try to take me to the ground. Being bigger and longer, that is kind of his game.  I have to use my game plan to keep it where I feel like I have the best advantage.”

Are you closing your door as a lightweight, since you are fighting at 170?

Noons: “No my whole goal was to go for the title at 155. The card is interesting because there are two fights on this card I have a potential matchup with. As far as I was concerned I was the one in line for the 155 title. But Gilbert has some stuff going on and I didn’t want to wait.  I just want to go where people want to watch me fight.  One-hundred and fifty-five pounds is my division, but 170 is where the fights at, and I just want to make it an exciting fight.”

You had a lack of interest in a rematch before, how come you are enthusiastic about it now?

Noons: “At the time with EliteXC, I had a different management, and I didn’t have a great relationship with EliteXC. But what topped it off was the fact that at the time I beat someone, who was the best in the world, and they wanted an immediate rematch but only wanted to pay me three times less money. Nick is back on top. I am coming back on top, and I think it makes for an interesting matchup. There is a history there and it’s perfect timing. I think timing is everything.”

Is it going to be a lot tougher to beat Nick the second time around?

Noons: “No. Tell Nick to bring my belt; same result, different day. Styles make fights. He’s gotten better and I’ve gotten better, and it’s going to be an interesting match come the 9th.”

KJ, do you think Nick has gotten better recently with his hands?

Noons: “I think everybody who has time and gets more fights gets better. He’s gotten better and so have I.  The people he has fought are not strikers like me though; they don’t have the pedigree that I have grown up with. It’s just different styles, and I think styles make matches. He has gotten better and bigger. No, I haven’t ever fought at 170 but it will be an interesting fight. You can’t compare me to other fighters he has fought. We fight in different styles. He has beaten some legends but I am a different fighter.”

What do you think is going to be the biggest difference between fight No. 1 and fight No. 2?

Noons: “He is going to get knocked out. I just train all around as best as I can. When the fight happens I come with a game plan, and I am going to become victorious.”

How will Nick be different in this fight, compared to the last?

Noons: “He is going to want to take me down; wear me down; try to submit me. He’s going to ground and pound and try to get me tired.  My game play is I run up the middle, like a football player, so try to stop me.  He is not going to come out with some crazy stuff. People pretty much stay with their styles. I am just going to run my play, try to stop it.”

How much has your wrestling and grappling improved since the last fight?

Noons: “I am probably the best white belt in jiu jitsu on the planet. I do everything. I travel a lot. I try to mix it up, and I think that is what really makes a difference. I don’t claim to be with any gym. I am with team Noons, and I like all the different gyms because they help me become a better fighter.  I do wrestling, jiu jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, MMA sparing. I work on everything.”

How do you rank Nick’s boxing style?

Noons: “People like to compare the boxing and MMA, and they are two totally different sports. What Nick uses in an MMA ring probably wouldn’t work in a boxing ring, and that goes the same for me. I change my style up as well. My hands are a little bit more down to take away the shot and you have so many more variables. My style changes when I go from MMA to boxing and boxing to MMA. Nick doesn’t do boxing but his style works for MMA, he has gotten better, but so have I.”

Do you expect to dominate this fight like you did last time?

Noons: “Of course I do. What do you think I am going to go into this fight thinking I am going to lose?  When I go into a fight I always think I am going to win.  Every fight is a calculated risk and the harder I train every day I am minimizing that percentage as small as possible.  I take a fight because I know I know I can win.  There is some history and I am a competitor at heart. It is going to take a lot to break me down, trust me.”

Is there any chance that your relationship with Nick will be repaired after this fight?

Noons: “Who knows. After this fight, we might fight again. He keeps winning, I keep winning. I like to watch him fight, but I can’t stand him personally. I have heard he is a nice guy, and I am a nice guy.  But when he pulls stuff that I disagree with, I want to fight him and beat him. The ball is in his court.”

Do you really think that Nick will stand in front of you and box you, or that his ultimate goal is to bring you to the ground, where he feels you are the weakest?

Noons: “His ultimate goal is to take me to the ground but he will stand and bang, to suck me in. I think he will roll the dice to see if he can hang with me on the standup. I just have to prepare the best way I can and go from there.”

Does personal dislike change the training before the fight?

Noons: “Just more motivation to get better and to win the fight. It’s more competitive and it makes your train harder. I am training my butt of to win another world title. I have respect for Nick as a fighter, and that is why I am training so hard. My personal feeling about him will be left out of the fight and I am excited for the fight.”

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One Response to “KJ Noons Talks About Nick Diaz”

  1. Phil says:

    All I have to say is wow, I’m amped for this fight. Rematch, title on the line, smack talk, what else could anyone want? Can’t wait.

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