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EliteXC: Return of the King Thoughts & Commentary

K.J. Noons could be the real deal.

I’m not 100% sold on Noons being the real deal just yet but he is certainly making a case for himself with some high-profile victories. This win over Edwards was really jaw dropping and Noons showed the ability to take a hard shot, recover with power, and go for the kill when he smelled blood. There are things that we haven’t yet seen from Noons, though, and that’s his ability to deal with adversity in a fight as well as his ground game. Those are two big question marks that are still out there but overall he is coming along quite nicely. It was quite an impressive showing from the EliteXC lightweight champion and it seems that a rematch with Nick Diaz is the next thing in store for him as champion and I think it may be likely that we’ll see that fight on the July 26 CBS card considering the heat these two drew tonight.

Poor Yves Edwards.

He just can’t get over the hump. Whenever Edwards is poised to make that leap in his career, the one that will put him exactly where he wants to be and in a great position, he always seems to get knocked down. I really do feel for the guy. He trained his ass off for this fight and just got a little too aggressive when he thought he had Noons hurt. He certainly paid the price for it. I know there were a lot of people out there that wanted to see the Yves Edwards that knocked Josh Thomson flat on his ass but that was not meant to be. By no means do I think we’ve seen the last of Yves, but you can’t help but feel for the guy. MMA is a tough business and Yves is living proof of that.

Nick Diaz, at this point in his career, is mediocre.

Nick Diaz has settled for mediocrity, ladies and gentlemen. It’s never been more evident. He’s been mailing it in ever since he won the fight against Gomi. He outweighed Corbbrey tonight by probably twenty pounds or so and should have been able to put him away rather easily but took almost three full rounds to do so. He almost lost a decision to Mike Aina in his EliteXC debut. He was getting pounded by K.J. Noons before the fight was stopped due to cuts. The Nick Diaz of old, the aggressive, fearless Nick Diaz, is nowhere to be found. He looked poor tonight against an opponent that he is much better than, standing up or on the ground. Sure, he got the victory but it was one that he had to grind out. The Nick Diaz of old would have stopped Corbbrey in round one or two. Such is not the case anymore. If the same Nick Diaz that showed up tonight shows up against Mach Sakurai or in the rematch with Noons then I don’t give him a chance. It’s time for Nick Diaz to re-evaluate his strategies, his technique, and his overall game if he wants to take it to a championship level.

The Diaz brothers need to give it a rest.

The stunt that these two pulled after the Noons fight in the cage was completely out of line and uncalled for. I try so hard to like the Diaz brothers, I really do. But they prove to me on a regular basis that they’re classless assholes. Noons was trying to keep it respectful and Nick had to call him scared while Nate was flipping the bird to Noons’ father of all people and talking trash to him. Why not just have some respect, especially considering what Noons just did to one of the best lightweights in the world? The mini riot inside the cage, the trash talking, the bird flipping on the way to the back, it’s all tired. Act like a professional, make weight, and fight to the best of your ability. A little trash talking here and there is fine, but these two go way overboard and the scuffle inside the cage afterward was proof of that.

Dave Herman is a beast.

We profiled Dave Herman in our feature in Extreme Fighter Magazine as one of the better heavyweight prospects in the sport today and we feature him in our Prospects section of the website. I think this fight showed why we think so highly of him. He put the work on Ron Waterman tonight and showed a good ability to get up off his back with a strong wrestler with great top control on top of him. Not only that, he’s not afraid to mix things up with his strikes. He’s knowns as a wrestler but is proving to be much more diverse than just wrestling with the surprising high kick and striking arsenal. Ron Waterman has never been dominated like that before, not that quickly. Herman is on a path for great success in EliteXC as long as he continues to develop.

Tony Bonello got what he deserved.

If you talk that much trash during the staredown, you deserve the beatdown that’s coming. Murilo Rua hopefully taught Bonello a lesson this evening. I don’t even know what to call what Ninja ended up doing to Bonello. It was more than domination. There’s not even a word for it. He so thoroughly ripped through Bonello that it was actually quite humorous. You don’t give a world class fighter extra incentive to put a hurting on you during the staredown. That being said, Ninja looked on his game tonight. He should be about one fight away from getting another crack at the EliteXC middleweight title.

Rafael Feijao is the future of EliteXC’s light heavyweight division.

I think this was sort of the notion coming into the fight but he sealed the deal with an extremely decisive victory over Wayne Cole tonight. He looked to be in better shape than his last time out in EliteXC and the tutelage of the Nogueiras and Anderson Silva have certainly helped mold him into the prospect that he is today. I’m ready to see Feijao step up the ladder a bit and take on some of the better light heavyweights in EliteXC at this point. I know that division isn’t their strong suit, but a fight against someone like Po’ai Suganuma would be a good barometer for how far Feijao has come.

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