Diaz vs. Noons II press conference quotes
Oct 7, 2010 - by Steve Gerweck
FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE
GOES OFF WITHOUT A HITCH;
Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010,
HP Pavilion, San Jose, California
“DIAZ VS. NOONS II” – This Saturday at HP Pavilion
Live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT
SAN JOSE (Oct. 7, 2010) – There may have been tension in the room, but all the fighters, specifically Nick Diaz and KJ Noons, were respectful and reserved and made like true professionals during Thursdayâ€™s final press conference for this Saturdayâ€™s “DIAZ VS. NOONS IIâ€™â€™ mega-fight card at HP Pavilion live on SHOWTIME® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
Diaz (22-7-1, 1 NC), of Stockton, Calif., will risk his STRIKEFORCE Welterweight (170 pounds) World Championship against Noons (9-1), of San Diego, in the main event. In a second world title fight, undefeated Womenâ€™s Welterweight (135 pounds) Champion Sarah Kaufman (12-0), of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, will make the second defense of her 135-pound title against No. 1 contender and Dutch superstar Marloes Coenen (17-4).
“Diaz-Noons IIâ€™â€™ is a grudge rematch of a bloody, controversial slugfest won by Noons on a disputed first-round TKO on Nov. 7, 2007, when a cageside physician halted the proceedings due to excessive cuts around Diazâ€™ eyes. Both fighters have gone unbeaten since. Diaz has won seven in a row; Noons has triumphed in his last six fights.
Popular local favorite and former STRIKEFORCE champion Josh Thomson (17-3), of San Jose, will meet Gesias “JZ” Cavalcante (15-3-1) of Brazil in a battle of world-ranked lightweights in a featured televised match. The winner could be next up to challenge STRIKEFORCE World Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez.
In the opening bout of the telecast, Tyron Woodley (8-0), of St. Louis, Mo., faces Andre Galvao (5-1) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in a welterweight weight.
Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.com, at the HP Pavilion ticket office, or by phone at (800) 745-3000.
Doors will open at 4 p.m. PT. The first live, non-televised fight is at 4:30 p.m.
What the eight fighters had to say Thursday:
“I feel good and weight-wise I am almost perfect. I was angry for a long time (about the first fight). I was real upset that it ended the way it did because it wasnâ€™t like I was hurt.
“Then I kind of dropped the idea of ever fighting a rematch because he got out of MMA. I never considered the first fight as a loss. I just always looked at it as a fight that was stopped (too soon).
“I donâ€™t feel that this fight is about revenge. But Iâ€™m happy now that he took the fight.â€™â€™
“I love to fight and I love my job and I want to thank STRIKEFORCE and SHOWTIME and Nick for taking this fight. Iâ€™ve trained very hard and Iâ€™m excited about Saturday. This is a fight the fans want to see.
“I have respect for Nick as a fighter. His style works for him and I like to watch him fight. (But) Iâ€™m really pumped and ready to fight the best at 170 pounds.
“The first fight I worked on going forward against Nick because Nick never fights going backward, but Iâ€™ve been working on all aspects of the game. Iâ€™m sure at some point heâ€™s going to try and take me down but I am ready for anything.â€™â€™
“JZ is a savage and a beast and I think itâ€™s a joke that you guys have a guy like Ben Henderson ranked above a guy like him. I could go out there and fight the fight of my life and still lose. I have to beat him everywhere; there is no way I am going to win this fight doing one thing. JZ has fought some good ones all over the world. He is probably bigger and hits harder so I know I have to lay it on the line and see what happens,
“Everybody wants to talk about Gilbert Melendez but all my training and focus is on JZ. If I donâ€™t get past this one, everything else is out the window.â€™â€™
“This will be an excellent fight and Iâ€™m really looking forward to it and fighting for STRIKEFORCE. I like being part of a fight fans want to see and are talking about. This is my chance to make a name for myself in America.
“I was off a long time because of my injuries but Iâ€™ve seen a lot by working with teammates and other guys that has helped me stay involved in the game. But there is nothing like a real fight.â€™â€™
“I like winning. This is definitely a big fight and, like always, I know Iâ€™ll have to come out confident and aggressive.
“This is definitely a big deal for the 135-pound division and a big push forward for it. The more attention and exposure we get, the more the fan base will grow. Thereâ€™s already a good fan base for the STRIKEFORCE women at 145 pounds, so this is a great opportunity for us and the division.â€™â€™
“The closer we get to the fight, the more excited I am. All the work is done. Iâ€™ve trained really hard and feel great. Iâ€™m good on my weight and feel strong. That helps my confidence a lot fighting at 135 pounds. Coming down from 145 was a gradual process, but I had a good nutritionist and team working with me.
I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve lost any strength but I definitely feel faster.
“This fight means the world to me. I won a world tournament in Japan 10 years ago and, here I am again, 10 years later with another opportunity to win another potentially life-changing event. A victory means I can stay and have a career in America. I would love that to happen very much.â€™â€™
“I canâ€™t concern myself on what an opponent my do. Itâ€™s up to me to turn my weaknesses into strengths.
“This fight means a ton to me. I fought through the STRIKEFORCE Challengers series. Fans got to learn my story as a fighter, they got to see me develop and get better each fight. They got to submit guys fast. They got to see me go through wars. This is definitely a step forward towards my dream to be a champion. Weâ€™ll get those fireworks going on Saturday.â€™â€™
“Tyron is a tough fighter, a top wrestling guy who has fought three times on STRIKEFORCE. I am excited and have a good game plan. Iâ€™m ready to go.â€™â€™