Noons TKOs Edwards to defend title at EliteXC's 'Return of the King'

He may have been the underdog coming into Saturday night's main event at EliteXC "Return of the King" in Honolulu, but K.J. Noons left with the EliteXC lightweight belt still securely around his waist.

Noons and Yves Edwards traded a few shots to get things moving in their bout, but it was Noons that caught Edwards with a right hand on the chin that sent the Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran sprawling to the canvas. He immediately followed Edwards down and was unrelenting with a flurry of punches and forearms that caused referee Mario Yamasaki to call a halt to the bout.

Following the bout, Noons and Edwards were nothing but respectful to each other.

"We go way back and he's a great competitor. You know, MMA, that's just the way that it happens, you get caught with a shot," said a humble Noons.

Edwards mirrored the respect show to him saying, "He's the man. He whooped my ass. He dropped me and I don't remember any of that stuff."

But in an instant, all of the sportsmanship shown between Edwards and Noons was tossed into the dumpster when EliteXC officials allowed Nick Diaz to enter the cage, obviously under the auspices of hyping up a rematch with Noons, who defeated Diaz to win his championship.

When asked his thoughts on a rematch, Noons deferred to the crowd at Blaisdell Center, who soundly "booed" Diaz.

Diaz than did his best to get under Noons' skin by saying, "Don't be scared, homie," and then extending his middle fingers and shoving them in his face. It worked. Noons and his father lunged after Diaz and his camp -- which included brother and UFC fighter Nathan -- before security could step in and break up the melee.

Diaz left the ring under a shower of boos and flying cups, as he and his brother continued flipping the bird to the crowd as they left the arena floor.

If EliteXC wanted to hype up Diaz' bad boy image to play the foil to Noons' good guy persona, well... they likely got everything they could hope for. Don't be surprised to see an announcement that the two will rematch soon, possibly on the announced second episode of CBS-EliteXC Saturday Night Fights on July 26.

It took him the better part of all three rounds to do it, but Diaz was successful in defeating Muhsin Corbbrey in a catch weight battle at 168 pounds. Diaz initially weighed in at 169 pounds and looked to use his size advantage over Corbbrey -- who weighed 163 -- bullying him around as the fight wore on.

The two primarily traded strikes throughout the bout with Diaz getting the better of Corbbrey as the clock ticked down. In round three, Diaz finally took Corbbrey to the mat and attempted a Kimura and armbar before finishing the fight raining down punches from the full mount, causing a referee stoppage.

Despite interviewer Bill Goldberg's best attempts to get Diaz to engage some talk about the main event title bout between Noons and Edwards, Diaz refused, muttering, "I'm gonna go back home, get back to training, get after it."

Little did we know that Diaz was just staging his entrance back into the cage to wreak havoc following Noons' successful title defense.

Australian Tony Bonello was raring to go, jawing at Murilo "Ninja" Rua as they stared each other down prior to the bout, but he's probably lucky to open his jaw after the bout. He stormed Ninja with punches, then immediately jumped guard, and that would be the beginning of the end for Bonello.

Ninja quickly passed guard to side control then spent the next minute and a half punishing Bonello with a succession of elbows to the body and forearms to the head. He then attained a knee on belly position and unleashed a barrage of right hands to the face until Yamasaki stopped the bout.

After the bout, through an interpreter, Ninja -- the first EliteXC middleweight champion -- said that he wants his belt back; that is his next goal.

David "Pee Wee" Herman kept his undefeated record intact with a quick finish of UFC and Pride veteran Ron Waterman. Although Herman got taken down a couple of times early on, but as Waterman went for a single-leg takedown, Herman punished him with elbows to the side of the head before finishing him off with a knee to the ribs and flurry of hard right hands from the mount to end the fight.

The Showtime broadcast opened in exciting fashion as Brazilian Rafael Feijao was ruthless in pursing Oklahoman Wayne Cole. There were a couple of brief lulls when they clinched, but it was Feijao's devastating Muay Thai knee strikes to the body that earned him the victory. Midway through the opening round, he dropped Cole with knees to the body and finished him off by way of TKO, hammering him with big right hand punches for the referee's stoppage.

"Everything, everything I know, I (get from) this guy," said Feijao after the fight in regards to his training with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

Here are the results::

**Lightweight Title BoutK.J. Noons def. Yves Edwards by TKO (Strikes) at 0:48, R1

R1 -- After a prolonged exchange, Noons drops Edwards with a right hand to the chin, follows him down and viciously attacks with a assortment of punches and forearms, not giving Edwards any chance to recover and finishes the fight, defending his belt in stunning fashion.

Rafael Feijao def. Wayne Cole by TKO (Strikes) at 2:47, R1R1 -- Feijao immediately takes Cole down from the clinch, but Cole works back to a standing clinch. Feijao starts landing knees to Cole's legs. One knee catches Cole in the groin and he gets 5 minutes to recoup. A brief flurry from Feijao then they clinch again. Feijao starts landing brutal knees, dropping Cole to the mat and then following him down and throwing big right hand punches until referee Mario Yamasaki steps in to stop the fight.

Dave Herman def. Ron Waterman by TKO (Strikes)R1 -- Waterman quickly takes Herman down and starts a ground and pound attack. Herman works his way up and out. Waterman starts working a single leg takedown, but eats several elbows to the side of the head. Herman then drives home a knee to Waterman's side, flattens him out and starts dropping bombs from full mount to get the referee stoppage.

Murilo "Ninja" Rua def. Tony Bonello by TKO (Strikes) 3:16, R1

R1 -- Bonello stormed Rua with punches, but then quickly jumped guard. Ninja wasted no time passing guard and moving to side control and started to drive home elbows to the body and forearms to the face of Bonello. Ninja trapped Bonello's right arm under his leg and punished Bonello with forearms before transitioning to full mount, dropping down bombs, and then returning to side control. Ninja then mixed forearms and elbows from body to head, moved to knee on belly and then dropped some heavy right hands down, causing Yamasaki to stop the bout.

Nick Diaz def. Muhsin Corbbrey by TKO (Strikes) at 3:59, R3

R1 -- They feel each other out in the early going. Diaz lands a nice elbow as the two clinch about a minute-and-half into the bout. They trade a few uppercuts and knees before Corbbbrey lands a hard right hand then back to kind of feeling each other out with various strikes. Corbbrey lands a couple more hard right hands, but they are single shots, not in combination. With a minute to go, Corbrrey lands a solid combination followed by a kick to Diaz' body. Then Diaz fires back with a strong uppercut. Diaz finishes strong, working shots to the body of Corbbrey. Close round.

MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Corbbrey.R2 -- Corbbrey lands a few good single shots in the opening minute. Diaz starting to be more effective with his jab, tags Corbbrey more frequently now. Diaz starts talking to Corbbrey to engage and ups the pace of his combinations. Corbbrey is landing harder shots, but Diaz, his face now bloodying, may be edging ahead due to his level of activity. Diaz lands a few combinations then clinches, lands a couple of knees and takes Corbbrey to the mat as the round ends.

MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Diaz

R3 -- Diaz immediately starts stalking Corbbrey, picking him apart with combinations and then clinches and takes him to the mat, landing in side control. Diaz starts working for the Kimura, then transitions to an armbar attempt which Corbbrey defends. Diaz starts peppering Corbbrey while standing in his guard. Diaz moves to full mount and starts hammering down punches on Corbbrey to get the stoppage.

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