Houston ... we don't have a problem.
If there is one place that has been kind to former EliteXC Lightweight Champion K.J. Noons, it's "Space City." It wasn't that long ago when he was throwing out the first pitch for the Houston Astros, which was a nice appetizer for his main course feast against Jorge Gurgel in 2010.
A UFC 166 win over George Sotiropoulos, which came on the "Velasquez vs. Dos Santos" prelims last Saturday night (Oct. 19, 2013) on FOX Sports 1. Not only did he get back into the win column against the wily grappler, he also staved off talk of retirement, according to comments he made to MMA Fighting:
"It feels awesome, all this hard work. This was must-win. If I would have lost, I would have retired. If you can't compete at the top, then why do it? It's tough, I got the new baby. I got a job, too. Online real estate. I was doing that and training. It's tough to do both. I can definitely build off this win for the next fight. If I'm not getting better, it's time to hang it up."
The win was Noons' first under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner, following an inconsistent run in Strikeforce. "King Karl" -- who cut his teeth in the "sweet science" -- is perhaps best known for his rivalry against fellow combat sports veteran Nick Diaz.
Where does he go from here?
That's tough to say. Noons is still just 3-5 over his last eight fights and at 30 years of age, doesn't have a whole lot of time to be floundering in and out of the 155-pound win column. It's now or never, so hopefully he can use his momentum to grab bigger and better opportunities.
Or at least try to convince UFC to return to Houston.
To see how "Noons vs. Sotiropoulos" unfolded, head over to our UFC 166 results and live play-by-play thread here. And for more "Velasquez vs. Dos Santos" results, as well as videos, pics, reactions and more, check out our complete UFC 166 link hub by clicking here.