(The man on the ground is now EliteXC’s lightweight champion. The man in the air is now under a bridge selling oranges, possibly.)
Gary Shaw must have a boner for flying knee knockouts.
When EliteXC signed K.J. Noons, he was a pro boxer who was riding three-straight knockout victories in MMA matches for Icon Sport. His first fight for Elite in February ’07 resulted in a knockout loss to Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett, and he was relegated to a ShoXC card for his next match in July. Fortunately, he scored a dramatic flying-knee KO of Edson Berto in that fight, and despite having just seven pro MMA fights under his belt at that point he was given an immediate title shot in the 160-pound division against UFC vet Nick Diaz. Incredibly, that fight didn’t go so well for Diaz.
Now, it looks like Noons’s first title defense will be against Yves Edwards. And how did Edwards earn his shot? Coincidentally, with a hopping-knee knockout of Edson Berto, which must have tickled Gary Shaw something fearsome. To be honest, I kind of wish other fight organizations operated like EliteXC, where title shots don’t depend on a string of victories over top competition or marketability, but rather on who just pulled off the last ridiculous KO.
So yes, American Top Team confirmed today that Edwards will face Noons on April 26th in Hawaii for EliteXC’s 160-pound title. And not everybody’s happy about it. Nick Diaz called Noons out for ducking a rematch — according to Diaz, he just had surgery to fix his face, and that inconvenient blood-explosion thing won’t happen again — after which an insulted Noons responded with the following:
“First of all, I don’t dodge anybody. Whoever is the best, I want to fight them. As champion, you can decline who you want to fight. You only have one option as to who you’re going to fight, and that’s the best. Whoever the best is, that’s who I have to fight. In regard to a rematch with Nick, that would be a great pay day for me. Unfortunately, he’s not the best.”
Noons went on to express his desire for a rematch with Krazy Horse Bennett, which we’d love to see. And now, just for fun, here’s Yves Edwards’ acrobatic head-kick KO of Josh Thomson at UFC 49. I know we’ve discussed Steve Mazzagatti’s horrible reffing in the past, but this, I swear to you, is his worst performance of all time. Watch how he wanders into the frame like somebody’s lost grandfather after Edwards puts Thomson’s lights out, and slow-walks over to the fighters as Yves lands uninterrupted shots on Thomson’s face. It’s literally as if Mazzagatti forgot where he was and what he was supposed to be doing. Amazingly awful.