Paul Daley has let the world know that he wants K.J. Noons for his next fight for Strikeforce. So what does the former EliteXC lightweight champion have to say to in response?
Speaking with MMAWeekly.com, Noons revealed that he recently got his cast off from the broken hand he suffered in the fight with Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz in October, and had a few words for Daley after his multitude of challenges.
Dealing with a broken hand during the five-round title fight, Noons described what actually happened and when he expects to be back in the cage after his recovery is over.
“Pretty much my thumb wasn’t connected to my hand. They re-connected it and put some artificial bone, some rods, to connect it back.,” Noons told. “I got my cast off of my hand last week, I had surgery on it to put it back together. Just taking it easy, still recovering and just enjoying some time off. It’s looking like February or March for me. Hopefully if all goes okay with the doctor.”
Noons wants to get back in the cage as soon as he’s healthy, and he’s got a list of challengers waiting to greet him upon his return. As previously mentioned, the person that seems to have the biggest axe to grind is Paul Daley, who recently knocked out Scott Smith in Strikeforce.
While Noons will point to Daley’s skills in the cage, he also is quick to talk about the stylistic match-up he had going into the Smith fight.
“No disrespect, but Scott Smith isn’t the hardest person to hit. I think everybody knows that. Everybody knows Scott Smith is not the hardest guy to hit,” Noons said.
As far as the challenge that’s been laid out by Daley both before the fight and after the fight, Noons understands the reasoning behind it all.
“Of course he wants that, I beat Nick Diaz and everybody knows it. I beat Nick, that’s why he wants to fight me,” he commented.
“Of course it would be exciting to watch me knockout Paul Daley. Everybody would want to see that, but the thing is nobody wants to see Paul Daley. He’s like the black eye of MMA, this guy’s the leftovers of the UFC. I’m surprised Strikeforce even picked him up. He’s trying to make his name so of course he’s going to call somebody out that beat Nick Diaz. That’s how he’s trying to get his name out there.”
Noons doesn’t believe that Daley has done enough to earn a shot at Nick Diaz, much less fight him in Strikeforce, based on his current resume.
“He talks so much (expletive) and really when I look at his record, he beat Martin Kampmann, that’s about it I think of off the top of my head,” Noons said.
Daley is currently awaiting word about his next opponent, and Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz and his camp appear willing to accept the fight if the promotion offers it. Noons says Diaz should jump at the chance to fight Daley because it would be a nice payday for the champ with little work involved.
“If he fights Nick, that’s an easy win for Nick in my book,” said Noons. “I think that’s why Nick’s going to take the fight, easy win for Nick Diaz. Paul Daley won’t even make it to the championship rounds with Nick Diaz.”
It’s Daley’s problems on the ground that Noons points to as to why he wouldn’t survive very long in a fight with Diaz, and why he thinks the British bomber prefers a match-up with him.
“You can say K.J. Noons is a one-dimensional fighter, but nobody can keep me down or submit me. He is definitely one-dimensional because once you take him down he’s like a fish out of water. If he fights me, I’m going to knock him out,” Noons stated.
The California based fighter hasn’t had any discussions yet with Strikeforce about his next fight, but the last word he heard from the promotion it was their goal to see him back at lightweight. Still, that doesn’t mean Noons wouldn’t jump at the chance to shut Daley up, but he sees it as a step down if it does happen.
“I’m going to lightweight for sure, I only came up for the Nick Diaz fight. Besides that I’ve got the rubber match already for Nick Diaz, so I’ve got the shot at Nick whenever we do that shot again, to fight Daley that’s almost like a step down,” said Noons. “I already have a fight with the top guy at 170 so why the hell would I take a fight with Paul Daley? Besides that, I’ll fight anybody Strikeforce tells me to fight. Whether it’s 155, whether it’s 170, or whether it’s 250 pounds, that’s my job to fight whoever they tell me to fight.”
The final decision will come down to Scott Coker and Strikeforce, but the timing for Noons’ return would likely work out for a March 5 date on the proposed card in Ohio. Who he faces is still up in the air, and if it’s Daley, Noons is happy to accept the challenge, but long term he still has goals to achieve at 155 pounds.
“If people want to see me knock him out and Strikeforce wants it then I’m cool,” said Noons. “I’m just saying that he’s trying to build his name obviously by calling other people out. I’m not saying no to Paul Daley cause I’ll knock his ass out, but Strikeforce’s goal for me, and myself and my team is to go back to 155.”
It remains to be seen whether Strikeforce will put the two together in a match-up in 2011 or opt to see Daley challenge champion Nick Diaz in January.