Big Island fighter stripped of EliteXC world title
K.J. Noons of the Big Island was stripped of his EliteXC world lightweight championship last night.
Jeremy Lappen, head of fight operations for the EliteXC organization, said
Noons has been reluctant to defend the championship against California's Nick Diaz.
"We are stripping K.J. of his championship belt for refusing to defend against Diaz," Lappen said. "It's a very unfortunate situation but we cannot have belt-holders who refuse to fight the top contenders. We want champions who will fight anyone, anytime, anyplace. That's the mentality all champions should have."
Noons defeated Diaz last November for the lightweight (160 pounds) title. In Noons' most recent bout, he defeated Yves Edwards to defend the championship in June at the Blaisdell Center Arena.
Noons has stated previously that he was unhappy with EliteXC because he was getting paid less per fight than Diaz, even after he beat Diaz.
Noons was raised in Kailua, Kona, but now trains in San Diego.