It has been nine months since K.J. Noons surprised many in the mixed martial arts world, winning the EliteXC 160-pound divisional title with a TKO stoppage of Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Nick Diaz following the first round of their championship bout.
Noons followed up his title-winning performance with an impressive first round TKO finish of another UFC veteran in Yves Edwards.
Over that same span, Diaz has strung together a three-fight victorious streak, stopping Katsuya Inoue, Muhsin Corbbrey and Thomas Denny -- all by TKO. Now his camp is clamoring for a rematch.
"His win over Thomas Denny was a crucial test for him. He needed to prove he could make weight and pass California's stringent anti-marijuana drug policy. Diaz easily made weight and passed the drug test," said a recent post on GracieFighter.com, a site operated by Diaz's trainer Cesar Gracie. "His recent wins have convinced EliteXC that his next fight should be a rematch with K.J. Noons at the Oct. 4 CBS show. However, it is still unclear if K.J.'s camp will take the fight."
Apparently there isn't that much of a cloud over Noons' camp after all. According to EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw, the promotion has tried to make the fight happen and wants it to happen as part of the Oct. 4 event, but to no avail.
"Nick Diaz is the No. 1 contender. K.J. Noons should step up and be the champion that we think he is and take this fight. Nick Diaz will take this fight any place, anywhere," Shaw told MMAWeekly.com. "(Noons' management) won't even return our calls.
"I don't understand it. This fight on CBS is maximum exposure and the opportunity for maximum sponsorship dollars, way more than he could make on Showtime. At this point, I question his management."
Shaw was quick to point out, however, that they support Noons as their champion. "We believe in K.J. as our champion. For some reason (his camp) is not coming straight out and saying no, but they are making it very difficult to make it happen.
"His manager doesn't want us talking to him directly. Who knows what K.J. even knows about the situation, but his management is holding us hostage."
With time winding down to be able to promote such a marquee fight properly for Oct. 4, Shaw seemed to be running out of hope that the bout would get done in time for the promotion's third edition of CBS-EliteXC Saturday Night Fights. He did say, however, that EliteXC officials are ready to make the fight happen if Noons and his camp would agree to it.
"Hopefully K.J. wants the fight and hopefully he will instruct his management to take the fight," commented Shaw. "K.J. signed a contract. All we want is for him to honor that contract, fight on Oct. 4 on CBS, and prove that he's the champion we think he is. Right now, he's not representing us as the EliteXC champion."