Before I take all of you down a spiral of ridiculousness, all of this can be verified with Erik Fontanez of The Bleacher Report and Turk from MMA Gospel Radio. They all witnessed the events that transpired and their minds were also simultaneously blown away at what went down. All of this is true.
The unofficial afterparty for Strikeforce Los Angeles was held at this place in the Nokia Plaza called Lucky Strikes. It’s probably the world’s first hybrid bowling alley/bar that has an unnecessarily strict dress code. We explained that we were from the media so the bouncer (who looked a lot like Jim Brown from Mars Attacks!) let us in with the busterish pairs of shorts we all had on. We get to the bar and we start talking about the fighters that are sporadically scattered through the room. KJ Noons was there, some of Fabricio Werdum’s guys and someone that looked like he could pass off as Kevin Casey and (or) King Mo. We start talking about Mayhem Miller who was nestled on the sofa with his girlfriend and all of a sudden this older dude stumbles in our vicinity and says ‘Who cares about Mayhem. He didn’t fight. KJ Noons fought!‘. We hesitantly agree with him, but we’re all collectively wondering who this guy is and why would he even bother to interject in our pointless conversation. The guy (who looked to be in his early 50s) proclaimed ‘KJ Noons fought! I taught him everything he knows! That’s my son!‘. Alright, a drunk Daddy KJ Noons, we all thought. This should get interesting. I asked him if he could repeat what he said about Mayhem ‘not fighting’ while I recorded him and the dude looked at me and walked away. Damn. I shrugged it off and threw it immediately in my batch of memories that I would later discard the following morning.
A few minutes later, KJ Noons’ dad gets uncomfortably close to me and says ‘This is your problem. You’re uneducated. I could smack the taste clean out your mouth‘. Woah. This conversation has just elevated to a level I never thought I would have to deal with from some middle-aged guy on a Wednesday night. I went on to tell the guy (Carl Noons) that I really didn’t think he could ‘smack the taste of my mouth’ and regardless of his ability to indeed smack any taste I had in my mouth, I questioned why he would even bring that unwarranted topic up. I must have used too many big words because he started to shake my hand and give me a pat on the back. Great, I thought. I just averted some drunken beat-down from KJ Noons’ father. He walks away again and I assume everything is squared away.
Moments later, I’m fumbling around on my iphone to see what The UG had to say about Noons vs. Heun and out of nowhere, KJ Noons’ dad grabs my phone and insists that I was recording the entire conversation. The dude literally had my phone in his hand and was waving it around the bar. He comes back and shoves the phone in my face and starts to yell ‘Where did you record me?‘. I used the old ‘Let me have it so I can show you, and then immediately shove it in my pocket’ trick. At this point, Carl Noons didn’t take kindly to my successful attempt at outwitting him, so he gets in my face (literally an inch from my nose) and tells me how he was a former boxer and that he taught Noons most of what he knew. This is the point where KJ Noons’ entourage stood up in order to get in-between us. Within seconds, KJ’s dad had a hold of my neck. The dude actually wrapped his hand around my neck! I could hear KJ Noons scream ‘Stop, stop! Get him off now!‘ from the sofa and a few of his guys yanked him and tried to move him to another side of the bar. Throughout all of this, I’m still in ‘WTF just happened‘ mode. He finally separated his hand from my throat and an attractive brunette tapped me on my shoulder and suggested that I should leave Lucky Strikes. For what, being attacked by KJ Noons’ father? She then said that it was my fault for starting a conversation with him and not noticing that he was drunk. It made no sense (and this following morning, it still makes absolutely no sense). I walked up to KJ Noons who was sitting on the sofa shaking his head in disbelief at the entire situation and complimented him on how amazing of a fight he had that fight with Conor Heuns. Noons shook my hand, apologized for the whole fiasco and even offered to buy us drinks for the unexpected trouble. I’m not going to turn down a drink from the former Elite XC champion, so we walked over to the bar and ordered a round. Throughout all of his, Noons redundantly apologized for everything that transpired and we all just stood around the bar and talked about the his fight with Conor, the antics of Krazy Horse/Kid Khaos and a potential rematch with Nick Diaz. Everything immediately cooled off and we relocated to the other side of the bar (you know, the side that didn’t have threatening middle-aged men).
Last night was by far one of the oddest incidents I’ve had at an MMA afterparty. In retrospect, this was the same guy who threw a punch at Nick Diaz and chased him around the cage in the Elite XC brawl a few years ago. I’m not sure if any other fighter would have been as professional as KJ Noons throughout this altercation. The first time I met Noons was on the set of NCIS: Los Angeles and he seemed to be an incredibly sound guy. Last night was no different. In the future, I’m sure I’ll run into KJ again but this time I’m buying the drinks…and staying as far away from his father as possible.