MMA Junkie reports that the highly anticipated rematch between Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz and K.J. Noons looks to be set for early October. The two fought previously for the Elite XC promotion back in 2007, resulting in a TKO victory for Noons via a doctor's stoppage due to cuts. Noons was able to utilize his boxing to open up some pretty nasty cuts on Diaz, who has had a long history of problems with scar tissue. This was also Diaz's last professional loss, which lends that much more drama to the already tense situation.
The pair had a brush up at an Elite XC event in June of 2008 in Hawaii immediately after Noons successfully defended his lightweight title against Yves Edwards. While Noons was attempting to give a post fight speech, Diaz entered the cage to confront him, uttering the now infamous line 'don't be scared, homie.' A Strikeforce Nashville-esque disturbance took place, ending with the Diaz brothers departing the arena, middle fingers reaching towards the heavens. Noons was later stripped of his title for refusing to defend it against Diaz.
After recently defeating Jorge Gurgel at lightweight, Noons will make his move to 170 lbs for his title fight with Diaz. Diaz is riding a seven fight win streak, including his most recent bout in Japan at May's DREAM 14 event against Hayato Sakurai. His suspension handed down from the Tennessee Athletic Commission stemming from his involvement in Aprils brawl in Nashville will have expired by October. The catalyst to that unfortunate event seems to have been left out in the cold. Jason 'Mayhem' Miller has been tirelessly campainging to get his shot at Diaz, even going so far as printing up a t-shirt.
Perhaps the worst part about the Noons-Diaz rematch is, neither of them seems all that enthusiastic about it. Sure, they've both said at various points in the past that they'll take the fight, but they don't seem terribly fired up about it. I mean, has either of them even bothered to go down to the mall and have a t-shirt made?
One of the keys to good matchmaking is striking while the iron is hot. Noons-Diaz? That one cooled off a year ago. Diaz-Miller? That's the fight that makes sense now. Strikeforce needs to make it happen while the opportunity is there. Otherwise, all the hype will dissipate as soon as Diaz starts an ill-advised brawl with someone else. And let's be honest, it's probably only a matter of time.
I think it's only a matter of time before we start seeing some feathers fly between Diaz and Noons. The ink on the contracts isn't even dry, if they've even been signed at all, so I'm not too worried about a lack of good promotion between these two loud mouths. I like Nick Diaz in this fight. He seems to be at the top of his game right now, and even underwent facial surgery to help reduce the possibilities of future cuts from torn scar tissue. Another issue is the weight. Noons has spent the majority of his career fighting at lightweight, while Diaz has floated between the welterweight and middleweight divisions. I just don't see Noons being able to handle the jump in muscle mass. He may be able to add a few pounds by October, but not the kind of lean muscle fighters want when they step into the cage after cutting weight.
check out their first fight