There’s no denying that KJ Noons had his back up against the wall heading into UFC 166, as the noted striker had lost three straight bouts before taking on George Sotiropoulos Saturday night. Although all of the defeats were by decision, and one was a controversial, split decision loss to Ryan Couture, Noons almost certainly would have been cut if he had lost again. Yes, despite the fact he’s an aggressive and entertainer fighter.
Of course, Noons earned a unanimous decision victory over Sotiropoulos to record his first UFC win, and extend his pro record to 12-7. Not only did the victory ensure Noons will have another bout in the Octagon, but the fighter revealed to MMA Fighting.com afterwards it means he’ll fight again period (comments via MMA Mania.com).
“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 30 year-old lightweight last win before UFC 166 took place in 2011, when he scored a UD win over Billy Evangelista while competing for Strikeforce.
For Sotiropoulos, however, the defeat was his fourth straight, and you have to wonder if the highly regarded grappler’s UFC run has come to an end. Prior to his current losing streak, the 36 year-old Australian fighter had won seven UFC bouts in a row, which included victories over Joe Stevenson, Kurt Pellegrino and Joe Lauzon. Before facing Dennis Siver in 2011, who defeated Sotiropoulos by UD, the TUF vet was considered to be a top contender at 155.
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