Promoted to the front page from the FanPosts by Luke Thomas. Editor's note: I have no evidence to suggest this scoop is manufactured, but I've had some concerns about the accuracy of some of the claims coming from MMABay. I am not trying to be adversarial, but until this story is corroborated by another source I have some suspicions.
Michael Pepper of MMABay has the rather large news on this relatively small competitor:
The UFC are set to sign one of the hottest free agents in MMA in KJ Noons, the former EliteXC lightweight champion, MMABay can EXCLUSIVELY reveal.
Noons was stripped of the title last year after refusing to defend it in a rematch against former UFC fighter, Nick Diaz. His contract expired last week, making him one of the most wanted free agents on the MMA scene.
Rumour has it that the former pro-boxer could debut at UFC Fight Night 18 against Melvin Guillard. With Noons one of the best strikers in the lightweight division, he could very well make a massive impact in an already stacked division.
Just a few months ago Noons was complaining that Gary Shaw had forgone an agreement to promote Noons boxing career, something which he seemed very serious about perusing after his falling out with EliteXC. With this announcement, it appears Noons has decided to go in a different route, throwing himself in the mix with some of the very best lightweight fighters in the MMA world.
It's no secret that Noons' strength is his stand up. Hence his stated interest in returning to boxing. Noons was able to force a doctor stoppage by bludgeoning Nick Diaz about the face, and earned a quick TKO victory over former UFC and EliteXC Lightweight contender Yves Edwards. Those, of course, are two solid wins for any fighter to have on their resume, particularly one who is still relatively new to the sport as is Noons, who holds just a 7-2-0 record in MMA competition.
Now that Noons has signed with the UFC, two very important questions come to mind. First, is Noons the truth, or was he merely a large fish in a small pond? Second, will the Noons/Diaz feud extend to the Octagon, leading to a match against Nate Diaz? The former we should find the answer to relatively quickly. Hopefully, the latter will be answered both quickly and affirmatively as well.
(art via www.fcfighter.com)
UPDATE: A source close to Noons says the rumors are false. Yet another reason never to believe anything from MMA Bay. And you can quote me on that, take it to the bank and cash it.
UPDATE 2: I am hearing from another source that the rumor of Noons fighting Guillard did not come from anyone within Noons' camp. Stay tuned.