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Muscle Sport Magazine

KJ Noons Will Clash With Conor “Hurricane” Heun In Strikeforce At Nokia Theatre Weds, June 16

An excellent lightweight (155 pounds) scrap between former world champion KJ Noons (8-2) of San Diego, Calif., and Conor “The Hurricane” Heun (8-3) of Hollywood, Calif., by way of Boulder, Colo., will round out the televised portion of fights on SHOWTIME® when STRIKEFORCE steamrolls into Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on Wednesday, June 16.

The first-ever STRIKEFORCE event scheduled for mid-week will take place in the midst of the E3 Expo, the premier trade show for computer and video games. During E3 Expo 2010 at the L.A. Convention Center, EA SPORTS(tm) will exhibit its highly anticipated title, EA SPORTS MMA, in which STRIKEFORCE is featured as a premier league.

Tickets are on sale at STAPLES Center box office, all Ticketmaster locations (800) 745-3000, Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com <http://www.ticketmaster.com/> ) and STRIKEFORCE’S official website (www.strikeforce.com <http://www.strikeforce.com/> ).  Tickets will also be sold at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE box office on days when events take place there.

In other televised matches, hard-hitting “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler (17-5) will collide with ex- STRIKEFORCE light heavyweight (205 pounds) champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral, at a catch weight of 195 pounds, DREAM belt-holder Marius “The Whitemare” Zaromskis (13-4) will face Evangelista Cyborg (17-13) in a welterweight (170 pounds) contest and American military hero, Tim Kennedy, will take on the dangerous Trevor Prangley in a middleweight match.

The SHOWTIME broadcast will begin at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). Doors at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE will open for the event at 6:15 p.m. PT.  The first non-televised preliminary bout will begin at 7 p.m. and the first main card fight will begin at 8 p.m.

Noons will be making his STRIKEFORCE debut and fifth start on SHOWTIME. He has won four consecutive fights and is 7-1 in his last eight outings. His last defeat came to Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett on Feb. 10, 2007, in the opening bout on the historic first MMA fight card ever broadcast on network premium television (SHOWTIME).

A confident, prolific striker, Noons is the last fighter to defeat current STRIKEFORCE welterweight champion Nick Diaz. In a thrilling, bloody fight on Nov. 10, 2007, Noons won by first-round TKO when a cageside doctor stopped matters after the round due to excessive cuts around Diaz’ eyes.

The 5-foot-11, 27-year-old Noons won his three ensuing fights after the setback to Krazy Horse – all by knockout — over Edson Berto (KO 3, knee) on July 27, 2007, Diaz and Yves Edwards (TKO 1, punches and elbows) on June 14, 2008.

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Following a near-two-year respite to continue a boxing career, Noons returned to MMA and won a decision over Andre Armado at DREAM 13 last March 22.

“They’re a lot of good fights out there for me in STRIKEFORCE,” said Noons, a former EliteXC 155-pound titleholder. “I’m looking forward to getting a good win and moving on to bigger and better things. Fighting in Los Angeles is very cool. I’m sure I’ll have a lot of friends and fans there rooting for me.”

The boyishly handsome Noons, who was born and raised in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, has been fighting for more than 20 years.

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“My father was a professional kick boxer so I’ve been in martial arts since I was five or six years old and boxing and Muay Thai since I was eight or nine,” he said. “I’ve been doing this forever and finally it’s my time to shine again and I’m ready.”

Heun, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt who prefers to kickbox in the cage, is a superb athlete and former IFL and EliteXC fighter who turned pro in 2006.

The 5-foot-10, 30-year-old Eddie Bravo-trained fighter is competing for the first time since losing his STRIKEFORCE debut on a decision in one of the most entertaining brawls of the year to Jorge Gurgel during a STRIKEFORCE: Challengers event on June 19, 2009.

The setback in a fiercely contested, electrifying slugfest between two ground fighters that gave the fans a kickboxing exhibition stole the show. At the conclusion of a grueling, non-stop-action encounter fought at a catch weight of 160 pounds, they got a standing ovation.

Bloodied and battered, the athletes “put on a fight for the ages at 160 pounds,” SHOWTIME announcer Mauro Ranallo commented during the telecast.

“I may go home a couple of bucks shorter and with some scrapes but that was the most fun I’ve ever had. I live for those 15 minutes,” said Heun, who was the stronger fighter at the finish despite coming up short by the scores of 29-28 and 30-27 twice.

The loss ended a three-fight winning streak for the aggressive-minded Heun, who entered the bout, his first in nine months, having won seven of eight.

Heun is anxious to put together another winning streak, beginning on June 16. “I’ve been eyeing a fight like this, and have been calling out Noons for a long time,” Heun said. I’m beyond thrilled this fight was made. If Noons thinks this is going to be easy, he is in for the surprise of his life. This is my time”

Before turning to MMA, Heun was a former Division III National Qualifier wrestler at the University of Ithaca where he majored in English.  After graduating, Heun did not enter MMA immediately. Instead, he went into the corporate world and even owned his own clothing apparel line. He would later leave Colorado and move to California where he began to work as a dental assistant. A little more than a year ago, Heun beat up a bully MTV’s “Bully Beatdown.”

Doors at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE  will open at 6:15 p.m. PT.  The first preliminary bout will begin at 7 p.m.

About STRIKEFORCE

STRIKEFORCE (www.strikeforce.com <http://www.strikeforce.com/> ) is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history.  The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265.  Since 1995, STRIKEFORCE, sanctioned by ISKA, has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts (MMA) series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.”  In May 2008, West Coast Productions, the parent company of STRIKEFORCE, partnered with Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVS&E), an entity created in 2000 to oversee all business operation aspects of the San Jose Sharks and HP Pavilion at San Jose.  In March 2009, STRIKEFORCE signed a multi-year agreement with SHOWTIME® to stage live events on the premium cable television network.  The promotion has since also produced two live, primetime events on the CBS Television Network.

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