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Elite XC recap for 'Return of the King' on Showtime

elitexc noons vs edwards
Elite XC: "Return of the King" is in the books. And a triumphant return it was for the champion KJ Noons, retaining his Elite XC 160-pound title by defeating Yves Edwards with a technical knockout at 4:14 of the first round.

Fighting in front of his hometown crowd in Honolulu, Hawaii, Noons fed off the energy of the Blaisdell Arena, dominating the more experienced veteran Edwards with powerful hands and overall aggressiveness.

Despite the huge experience advantage for Edwards, Noons looked like the more confident fighter. From the minute their names were announced to the 46-second mark of the first round -- when the referee stopped the fight -- it just seemed like Noons was more ready to scrap.

If there were any questions about his championship credibility after winning the title from Nick Diaz on a cut, those can all certainly be thrown out the window with a win of this magnitude. KJ Noons is for real. He hits hard, he comes to fight, he's confident, and, oh yeah, he hits hard.

Speaking of Nick Diaz, he had his hands full with a scrappy Muhsin Corrbrey, but he executed his gameplan to perfection and outworked the Muay Thai specialist. Much like Diaz is known to do, he wore Corrbrey down with those annoying jabs and a lot of clinching.

He used those jabs and stalked Corrbrey aggressively, wearing him down throughout the first two rounds. Diaz looked almost machine-like as he just kept coming forward ... Terminator style.

Diaz eats a lot of punches in his fights, but he never seems affected. He eventually got a few takedowns in the last round and used his jiu-jitsu skills to gain dominant positions and his experience to capitalize on those positions.

His style is extremely entertaining to watch when its working like that. There was a lot of action from both sides, but Diaz controlled most of the fight.

Diaz seemed either preoccupied or just pissed off when Bill Goldberg was trying to interview him after the fight. I thought to myself, "maybe he doesn't like Goldberg for some reason." It wasn't until after the main event when Diaz showed up in the cage and confronted KJ Noons that I realized it's not that he doesn't like Goldberg ... he just wanted to fight some more.

I'm not sure if Elite XC set it up to have Diaz come back to the cage or not, but I wouldn't put it past Diaz to just come out there on his own looking to speak his mind. Either way some people might say what transpired afterwards ruined the event and made it look more like pro wrestling than MMA.

I disagree.

I don't condone the post fight scuffle, but in this case I don't think either fighter is really to blame. It seemed like both fighters cornermen were the ones causing trouble. Perhaps coming out and raining on Noons' parade after his first title defense wasn't too cool by Diaz, but these guys have bad blood.

They don't like each other.

It's great hype for the rematch. Let's hope Gary Shaw makes this thing happen soon.

As far as the entire event as a whole was qualiy. The two featured fights had plenty of action and excitement, and the three other main card fights gave us a lot to look forward to heading into the future.

Two very good up and coming contenders in Dave "Pee Wee" Herman and Rafael Feijao were able to show their skills to the Showtime crowd for the first time as they both dispatched of dangerous veterans in their matches.

And a former champion, Ninja Rua, was able to win back some confidence after an absolutely dominating win over an undefeated jiu-jitsu stud.

Elite XC and Showtime both did a great job working with what they had to put on a very entertaining event. There is definitely a difference in watching on Showtime as opposed to CBS. Perhaps it's the commercials and long delays in the CBS telecasts.

Regardless, the CBS deal is still a big one for Elite XC. And the promotion officially announced its second "Saturday Night Fights" event to be held on July 26. The main event will be a rematch between champion "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler and Scott "Hands of Steel" Smith for the Elite XC middleweight strap.

Their first encounter was shaping up to be one for the ages, until it was stopped from an inadvertant eye poke. The rematch is definitely not one to miss.

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