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K.J. Noons Thinking About His Future, but Not Considering Quitting

There was some talk before K.J. Noons fought Billy Evangelista on Saturday night that he might be contemplating quitting MMA. But with his victory over Evangelista in hand, Noons said people misunderstood his comments about retiring.

Noons said on The MMA Hour that he is thinking about retirement -- but only in the sense that he has to be smart enough to know that he won't make enough money in MMA to live on for the rest of his life, and that future planning is important. That doesn't mean he's currently considering quitting MMA.

"I love my job, fighting. But there is a life after fighting. I'm still young, I still want to fight, don't get me wrong on that," Noons said. "There's a life after fighting. It just made me think when I got married -- it's hard to make a living on fighting, and some guys in their young 30s, their knees are busted up, they have all these surgeries, they've got bulging discs, they've had all these injuries and they can't even do normal stuff in their mid-30s. That's all I was thinking of, I need to build something because I can't retire off MMA purses, at least not the purses I make."

Noons said he'll continue fighting in Strikeforce and hoping to get better, and he said he's fine with fighting in Strikeforce rather than getting called up to the UFC -- even though he's envious of the Fight of the Night bonuses that the UFC gives to the fighters who put on the best performances, something that Zuffa hasn't yet implemented in Strikeforce.

"I want to get better as a fighter, stay busy and just see where the cards fall," Noons said. "The only thing I'm missing out on is not getting the Fight of the Night every time I fight -- those bonuses, I'd be a wealthy man now."
One thing Noons is not focusing on is a return to the boxing ring. In 2008, Noons vacated the EliteXC lightweight title to pursue a career in boxing, but Noons said that Zuffa won't permit him to do both, and that he's perfectly content sticking with MMA.

"I love boxing, they just won't let me box right now. We'll see in the future," Noons said. "Hopefully in the future I can box again. ... I definitely get better paydays in MMA right now."