(Carl Noon looks to take off his opponent’s head at Cage Gladiators. Image courtesy of Sherdog)
Carl Noon has been working his way up the UK middleweight ladder since his professional debut back in 2008. Though it was a loss, Noon has since gone on to compile four wins, the latest of which earned him the title of ‘Burnley Brawl middleweight champion’. He stopped Steve Fenwick early in the first stanza with a ground and pound onslaught and the local boy returns to defend his crown for the first time against Ultimate Challenge veteran Bola Omoyele.
“It does mean more to be defending my belt,” Noon said, offering a prediction as to how the contest may end. “I reckon it’ll end on the ground with me stopping him with strikes.”
That’s not to say Noon is taking Omoyele lightly, however. His foe last featured in former Cage Rage boss Dave O’Donnell’s UCUK and stopped the more experienced Earl Brown with a barrage of strikes in the second round. “I like to strike myself so there could be fireworks,” admitted Carl. “But I’m probably strongest on the ground with my wrestling and top game but you never know until the fight comes around what will happen.”
Noon has taken the dramatic leap into the life of a professional fighter, training twice a day and switching his camp largely to Team Kaobon, home to such UFC stars as Terry Etim, Paul Kelly and Paul Taylor, as well as a host of successful domestic fighters in Mark Scanlon and the Sinclair brothers; with whom Carl started his journey into the MMA world.
“Training with those guys really brings me on. And there’s the coaches as well, Briga [Marcelo Brigadeiro] was here for the grappling and he’ll be back soon from Brazil and Colin Heron for the stand-up. It’s only going to make me improve,” Noon mused.
Being in such a professional surrounding with athletes that are training to fight on the world’s biggest stage has had a profound impact on Carl and it helps him maintain his composure in the cage. Though his victories have all come in the first round, something he’s proud of, it’s not because he intends to bull rush his opponents:
“I don’t go in there like a mad man,” he said. “I go out to finish the fight but I’ll take my moment when it comes. You don’t always know what your opponent is going to bring so you have to take the opportunities. I’ve finished most of my fights in under a minute, but that’s just how it worked out.”
What he may lack in cage time through his quick victories, he certainly has in quality work hours on the mats, but he has the enthusiasm to stay busy and is aiming to compile even more wins in the near future.
“I’m just taking it as it comes after this and OMMAC in June,” Carl says in a laidback manner that depicts his calm demeanour. It doesn’t tell the full story of his aspirations, however. He turns his thoughts to the UK top ten; a place with great allure for the Lancaster man as he intends to claim victory at Burnley Brawl on March 20th and then challenge those above him.
“If I win here, I’m looking at the top ten and Rob [Sinclair] says that’s the next step as we’re struggling to find fights for me elsewhere, because of my reputation and everything.
“I was looking forward to the Cahoon vs. Makhonin fight [which has been dropped from the OMMAC IV card this weekend due to Cahoon’s injury] and keeping my eyes on it to see the level they show and what work I have to put in to get there and beat the top guys. I’m at the best camp in the country and if I’m ever going to get there, it’s going to be here. They’ve got some of the best fighters in the country so it’s possible for me too.”
Although an imposing figure to look at, Noon is as relaxed as they come. Exuding a quiet confidence, he looks forward to retaining his Burnley Brawl title and seeing what doors that will open for him in his MMA career.
The event takes place at Burnley Football Club in Burnley, Lancashire and tickets are available from promoter Mick Ashton (+447595597054), from the fighters or on the door on the night of the event – March 20th, 2010.
You can also visit BurnleyBrawl.com, although the site is under construction.