K.J. Noons Headed to UFC Despite Controversial Loss to Ryan Couture in Strikeforce Finale

Jan 12, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; K.J. Noons (black shorts) and Ryan Couture (red shorts) in their Strikeforce MMA Lightweight bout at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

K.J. Noons ended his Strikeforce career on a sour note, after the lightweight contender dropped a controversial decision to Ryan Couture on the undercard of Saturday’s event. Despite the controversial loss, Noons (11-6) is headed for the world’s top mixed martial arts promotion and is hoping for a shot at redemption.

“They said, ‘Heal up, and as soon as you’re healed up, then start training, and we’ll get you on a card,” Noons said on Monday during an appearance on MMAjunkie.com Radio.

[RELATED: Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine Fighter Salaries]

Noons was hurt by the loss because he felt he had done enough to win the fight — one judge scored all three rounds for Noons — and the result cost him a large chunk of money. Noons made $41,000 on the night, but the poor decision by the judges cost him an additional $36,000 in his wallet.

“My last paycheck was a little bit under $40,000 a year ago,” said Noons. “So now I made $40,000 last year. After taxes, and you have to pay your team, now I’ve got $30,000. Now I have to catch up on all my bills before my last fight. So there goes another $5,000 or $10,000. Now I have to live for a whole year off of $20,000?

“That was the real frustrating thing about Strikeforce. It’s like, ‘OK, you’re going to get a fight. (And then) no, it’s canceled.’ (It was like that) the whole year. The thing about the UFC is they are going to get you three fights a year.”

Noons echoes a complaint that was voiced by many fighters under the Strikeforce banner. Hopefully the move to the UFC will result in bigger paydays for the fighters and a chance to grow as a mixed martial artist. Noons and others train every day in hopes of making a championship run and it is unfair to them to not be given every possible chance to enter the cage and take the next step in their career.

If there is one fight Noons would like to get when he makes his octagon debut, it would be a rematch with Ryan Couture. This time, Noons would be more motivated than ever to not let the bout go to the judges scorecards.

Poor decisions can either make or break a fighter and this latest bad call seems to have motivated Noons and prepare him for his next run.

Topics: KJ Noons, Ryan Couture, Strikeforce, UFC

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