by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Former EliteXC lightweight champion K.J. Noons has come forward and stated that he is no longer with the promotion and now enjoys free agency status for his mixed martial arts career. Noons explained the reasoning behind his free agency in a recent interview with MMAWeekly.com.
“I have a written document, an e-mail that I had sent to them about four to five days before they stripped me of the belt and the e-mail basically said I wanted to give the belt back under the terms of them terminating me and no response,” Noons stated. “About five days later I’m sitting down with family and friends and I’m getting a million calls on a Friday night telling me that my belt has been stripped.”
The now former champion says he was completely unaware that the promotion had any plans of stripping him of the title before it actually happened.
“They didn’t even tell me that,” Noons said about the title being stripped. “That just blew my mind because I had told them I wanted to give them the belt back, and they had come back and stripped me and try to make a point or whatever.
“So they stripped me Friday, and they told me I had a deadline Monday, so I went up there and talked to them for a few days and we negotiated. We worked out a lot of things, about them stripping me, and what was kind of going on and tried to work it out, make the fight happen. So pretty much it was at a standstill, nothing really came out of it, but they know where I’m at and I know where they’re at.”
What the entire situation may come down to is the actual language of the contract between Noons and EliteXC, but for now the Hawaiian is pursuing free agency in his MMA career.
“Stripping me of my title makes me a free agent,” commented Noons. “They can say however much that I owe them the fights. I owe them championship fights as the champion. They stripped me, which doesn’t make me the champion, so I don’t owe them anything.
“So maybe they’ll want to re-sign a new deal, where we can work things out to get a new contract down, and sign me on a long term deal, but we’re still in talks and as of right now, I’m going to pursue my boxing. That’s a dream that I’ve always had and hopefully somebody else will see some value in me.”
The heart of the discussion still comes down to money. Noons says that he never had any problem fighting Nick Diaz, it was just a matter of the right deal being presented.
“I want to fight Nick. I thought I’ve made that clear. It just has to be fair,” Noons stated. “I offered to fight the better guy, Eddie (Alvarez) and it’s just ironic how they strip me and give Nick the chance to fight him now.”
Noons says the door hasn’t been closed to a return to the promotion, but he will turn his attention to boxing in November and then look for another big MMA fight, possibly trying his hand at former lightweight top dog Takanori Gomi.
“I’m really interested in a Gomi fight or anybody in the lightweight division that’s the champ,” Noons said.
As recently as Tuesday night, Jeremy Lappen, EliteXC Head of Fight Operations, had said that the company was negotiating with Noons and his management, but nothing was discussed about his actual return to the organization or any mention of his personally stated free agency.