By Brian Peterson
At first glance, KJ Noons looks more like a movie star than a mixed martial artist. Think Keanu Reeves meets Johnny Cage of Mortal Kombat fame; add Cage’s penchant for decapitating his opponents via brutal uppercut and you get an idea of the power that Karl James Noons wields in his fists.
Perhaps the best pure striker in all of mixed martial arts, the former EliteXC lightweight champion is a systematic assassin in the cage. KJ Noons has bobbed, weaved, and jabbed his way to a record of 9-2 -the majority of his wins coming by way of spectacular knockout. Enter the cage with King Karl and you might leave sticking out like the victim of a chimpanzee attack walking the runway during Milan fashion week. If Noons were a doctor, his opponents would be chronic insomnia patients lining up to fill their prescriptions of knockout power to help put them to sleep. The Winner in six of his last seven fights, Noons holds prominent wins over Yves Edwards and StrikeForce’s welterweight champion Nick Diaz.
On the horizon of a number one contender fight with Jorge Masvidal, Strikeforce’s very own, KJ Noon’s took time out from his grueling training regiment to chat with Brian Peterson. Now that StrikeForce is under the Zuffa banner, will we see KJ in any crossover fights? Who does KJ think would play him in a movie? All that and more with the heavy handed KJ Noons after the jump.
BP: First things first, how’s the hand healing?
KJ Noons: Hand feels great. I’ve been working out, sparring, and was getting ready to be on this past April card, but StrikeForce couldn’t get me on. Had surgery on the hand and everything is working.
BP: In your last fight against Nick Diaz, you were an absolute nightmare for Concubox. You landed a total of 310 total strikes and out struck the reigning welterweight champ by 116 strikes. Given the outcome of the fight, what was going through the mind of KJ Noons after seeing such a one sided strike total?
KJ Noons: I thought after the fight my hand would be raised as the winner, but the judges saw it a different way and that’s why they say, don’t leave the decision to the judges.
BP: You’re known as a fighter who trains in multiple areas throughout California and Tijuana. Have you ever given thought to being exclusive to one camp or do multiple training grounds give you an extra edge as a fighter?
KJ Noons: I think whatever works for a fighter they should do. I feel like traveling and getting different sparring partners is good. Its fun, keeps it interesting and you meet a lot of different people.
BP: Lately, there have been a handful of fighters calling you out to the point where Gilbert Melendez interjected and said, “They are all calling out KJ Noons. What about me? I’m the champ.” Why do you think so many fighters are singling you out?
KJ Noons: Don’t know why, I’ll take it as a compliment meaning they want to fight an exciting fighter.
BP: With Zuffa’s acquisition of StrikeForce, are there any crossover fights that you would like to be a part of?
KJ Noons: I don’t know if they are going to be doing any crossover fights soon, but if they did I would fight anyone the fans would like to see or an exciting match up.
BP: You are widely considered to be the purest striker in MMA and your takedown defense is only getting better. With that being said, you present a bad matchup for Gilbert Melendez. Now that you’re back in the lightweight division, is there any chance of that fight coming to fruition?
KJ Noons: StrikeForce is going to give me a #1 contender fight against Masvidal in the future and the winner gets a title shot.
BP: You’ve stated in the past that you’d be open to fight Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio. What are the odds of KJ Noons in any type of boxing match now that StrikeForce is under the Zuffa banner?
KJ Noons: Slim to none. I think it would be fun; both of those boxers are some of the best boxers ever. I think I will be able to get some good boxing matches in the future if I am not under the Zuffa Banner, but I’m going to concentrate on one belt in MMA for now and see how boxing goes out over the future. I love boxing, but I got to pay the bills, and MMA does that right now.
BP: You’re trained in the disciplines of boxing, Muay Thai, Sanshou, and Kenpo karate, how has the transition into Jiu-Jitsu been going?
KJ Noons: Great, I like jiu-jitsu, and you have to train in it to compete at this level, but I would rather finish someone with strikes than a submission.
BP: If you weren’t an MMA fighter/boxer you’d be?
KJ Noons: Firefighter
BP: Who would play you in a movie?
KJ Noons: Tom Cruise, lol
BP: Last but not least, are there any fights on the horizon for you? Jorge Masvidal recently stated that he can and will beat you. What are your thoughts on a potential matchup?
KJ Noons: That’s the future fight. Good match up for me. Just show up to the fight Jorge, that’s all I ask.
Once again, special thanks to you KJ and best of luck from Brian Peterson and the staff @ Cinesportstalk.com. We look forward to seeing you back in the cage soon.
KJ Noons: Thanks
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