(I gotta split, man. KITT is double parked out front.)
According to Strikeforce lightweight KJ Noons, he isn’t a dirty fighter and he says fans shouldn’t be swayed by popular opinion about a late punch he connected with after the bell in the first round and a questionable knee he landed to his downed opponent Jorge Gurgel in the second round during their Strikeforce: Houston bout on Saturday night.
"I’m not trying to be dirty," Noons said. "I’m just trying to finish the fight."
"I didn’t hear the bell," Noons said. "I heard the 10 seconds. When you hear the 10 seconds, being a fighter, this is your chance. I don’t know if I won that round. I don’t know if he won that round. You want to end every round showing out good. A lot of guys do a takedown. For myself, I want to get that last couple combos in to maybe finish the round good and win the round."
Some feel that the left hook, which left Gurgel wobby-legged, may have had a big impact on Noons winning the fight, but most intelligent observers will point and scoff at those people as they know the real problem is Jorge has refused to use his ground skills to win a fight in the past five years. It’s like the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has been hypnotized into thinking he’s a muay thai champion.
Regardless of what won him the fight, Noons maintains that he’s not a dirty fighter.
"By any means am I a dirty fighter?" Noons asked. "No. You can look at my history. I’m not a dirty fighter. I was just going in there trying to engage and trying to get the round. I went in there, and not by any means did I try to hit him after the bell. That’s not my style. It was the heat of the moment. I looked to try and finish the fight or finish the combination. I believe in my eyes it wasn’t late. Can I stop my hands as it’s flying as the bell is ringing? No."
Responding to the claims that he intentionally threw a knee at his downed opponent at the end of the fight, Noons flip-flopped between explaining that it didn’t land and saying that he doesn’t remember throwing the strike at all.
"I wasn’t trying to aim for his head. I don’t even remember throwing a kick or a knee. I was just going. It’s a fight. I’m almost positive it grazed and hit his shoulder. If it hit his face, it would be pretty obvious," Noons said matter-of-factly. "As best I can remember, I’m almost positive it didn’t hit his head – not a direct knee. The ref stepped in and pushed me off.
Whether or not the knee actually connected, which isn’t conclusively proven by this gif, the intent was there.
It seems that Noons’ shin or ankle connected with Gurgel’s face, which, regardless of the level of damage it caused is still in violation of the rules.
Just ask Paul Daley about being penalized for a shot that missed its mark.