Just because K.J. Noons has been stripped of the EliteXC lightweight title doesn't mean he's no longer a part of the organization.
At least, it doesn't according to EliteXC head of fight operations Jeremy Lappen, who told me today that as far as EliteXC is concerned, Noons' refusal to defend his title against Nick Diaz doesn't mean he's done fighting in EliteXC's cage.
"He's still under contract with us," Lappen told me today. "He has two more fighs on his contract and we look forward to him fighting with us. We plan on having him fight again -- it just won't be as the champion."
Lappen added that he's baffled that Noons turned down an opportunity to fight on CBS.
"I think it was a very, very big mistake," Lappen said. "I feel bad for K.J. because I like K.J. a lot I think he's a very good fighter. He's charismatic, he's marketable, but he made a big mistake. As champion you should fight anybody, any time, any place."
Personally, I find it hard to believe that Noons will ever fight for EliteXC again. Once a guy gets a title belt taken from him, I'd think that would tend to sour a relationship. But EliteXC says Noons has two more fights, and that it expects him to honor his contract. This could get messy.