SAN DIEGO – Onetime Strikeforce welterweight title challenger K.J. Noons isn't just returning under the burden of back-to-back losses. The future of his promotional home is uncertain.
Neither is an immediate concern, though.
"I'll still have my job for a while, wherever I go, as long as I keep winning and showing people that I can compete with the best," Noons told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Noons (10-4 MMA, 2-2 SF) gets a chance to show that again when he meets Billy Evangelista (11-1 MMA, 7-1 SF) at "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal," which takes place Dec. 17 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. Showtime airs the main card.
According to CEO Scott Coker, six events mark Strikeforce's future between now and February 2012, which means the Dec. 17 event probably marks the last time Noons could step into its cage if the promotion's premium-cable partner, Showtime, doesn't extend an existing broadcast deal. In March, Strikeforce was purchased by UFC parent company Zuffa LLC, which in all likelihood will fold its acquisition without a viewing platform.
Noons, though, said he's not looking much past what happens in his fight.
"(I'll) rebound off this past loss and take one fight at a time and go from there," he said.
Just winning has been a tough task as of late. This past October, Noons went toe to toe with then-welterweight champion Nick Diaz for five rounds before losing a unanimous decision. Badly battered from the fight, he returned eight months later to fight Jorge Masvidal. That, too, went south on the scorecards, which scratched any idea of an immediate title shot against current Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez.
"I rebounded after my last fight and changed up my game plan, changed my camp, changed a few different things," Noons said. "(I) just try to evolve as a fighter and get better. Sometimes you get caught up in just wanting to fight instead of doing the smarter thing.
"I got a chance to think, and hopefully, the changes in camp will be good, and (I'll) come out victorious in this fight."
Evangelista is also on the rebound after a decision loss in March to Masvidal that marked his first professional defeat. So the stakes are high leading into the winter fight.
"I should be OK," Noons said. "I think a lot of people confuse (that) when you fight the best people in the world that it can be a hairline fracture of what can happen in a fight because you're fighting the best."