mixed martial arts
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
KJ Noons pounded Yves Edwards during their EliteXC fight at the Blaisdell Arena. Noons won by TKO in the first round.
Noons takes little time in rout of Edwards
Noons retains EliteXC crown with TKO
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STORY SUMMARY »
KJ Noons already had the belt, but was still searching for respect from the mixed martial arts community.
Despite competing in just his seventh professional fight, Noons left no doubt he's one of the upper-tier lightweights in the world with a 48-second TKO victory over Yves Edwards in the main event of yesterday's EliteXC: Return of the King show at Blaisdell Arena.
Noons, who lives in San Diego but grew up on the Big Island, returned to the sight of his MMA debut three years ago and dismantled a challenger who had 34 career victories and was once considered the UFC's uncrowned lightweight champion.
Noons will now set his sights on becoming a world champion in boxing as he tries to become the first man to hold world titles in both sports at the same time.
FULL STORY »
His coronation took longer than his first title defense.
Karl James Noons, billed as the king heading into yesterday's mixed martial arts event at Blaisdell Arena, needed just 48 seconds to defend his light-weight championship against Yves Edwards with a stunning first-round TKO victory in the main event of EliteXC: Return of the King.
In front of an estimated crowd of 3,000 and thousands more watching nationally on Showtime, Noons caught Edwards with a devastating straight right that put him on the mat. He quickly pounced on his fallen opponent and landed a barrage of strikes that Edwards couldn't come back from and referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the fight less than a minute in.
"I'm overwhelmed," Noons said. "It's just all about hard work man. Never give up. That's how I live by."
Edwards, who at one time was considered the best lightweight fighter in the world, was in search of his first major title.
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Russell Doane pounded Dwayne Haney on the mat and walked away with a TKO victory.
He landed the first big punch of the fight that pushed Noons back, but as Edwards came in to attack, Noons landed a counter right hand that floored his former sparring partner.
"He caught me and came in and I was starting to back up, I think he was coming in a little bit carelessly and countered with a straight right and rocked him," Noons said.
Noons, who lived on the Big Island until he was 16, improved to 6-1 with all six wins coming by knockout, while Edwards dropped to 34-14-1.
With his dad, who fought professionally in Blaisdell Arena in the '70s, by his side, Noons didn't have long to enjoy the victory. Nick Diaz, who lost to Noons in November in a fight to become the organization's first champion at 160 pounds, entered the ring to get in the champion's face. After Diaz's brother, Nate, flipped off the champion's corner, a brawl ensued with Noons' dad at the forefront.
"He was just being disrespectful," Noons said. "He's got no class man. I've got the belt. I'll fight whoever EliteXC wants to showcase me against. If they want to put me up against somebody who has no class like that then whatever. I'll just keep on fighting."
Diaz, who defeated Muhsin Corbbrey by TKO in the third round, has been at the center of controversy all week long.
That bout was scheduled to take place at 160 pounds, but after cutting to 158, Corbbrey was informed just before the weigh-ins that Diaz was struggling to make weight. Not wanting to waste months of training, Corbbrey accepted the fight at a catch weight of 168 pounds.
"He came in 9 pounds heavy and just wore me out and took me out of my game plan," Corbbrey said.
"I would like to get a rematch with him at 160 if he can make weight.
"I drank a Pedialyte and weighed in with my shorts and cell phone and wallet in my pocket and weighed in at 163. I had a decision to make. Either don't fight and go home with no money or fight."
The event was the first for EliteXC since putting on the first mixed martial arts card on network television May 31 on CBS, which saw Kimbo Slice defeat James Thompson in the main event.
The organization announced its second CBS card would take place July 26 and feature the rematch between Scott Smith and Robbie Lawler for the middleweight belt.
The night started with four straight fights ending by TKO in the first round and ended with the biggest upset of the card.
Icon Sport middleweight champion Kala Kolohe Hose was stunned by Bubba McDaniel, succumbing to a rear naked choke just 41 seconds into the fight.