Noke eyes home bout
IT was the right cross that revitalised Kyle Noke's career, and it could now land him a dream UFC homecoming bout.
The Sunshine Coast fighter, who is still trying to establish himself in the world's premier MMA body, broke a two-fight losing sequence in spectacular fashion against Canadian Charlie Brenneman in Toronto on Sunday.
Noke, who was fighting at welterweight (77kg) for the first time after dropping down from light heavyweight, then pleaded with UFC president Dana White to include him on the huge UFC fight night scheduled for the Gold Coast Convention Centre on December 15.
The event, which will be broadcast around the world, will include match-ups from the finale of reality TV program The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs UK The Smashers.
The evening will be headlined by the coaches, Australia's George Sotiropoulos (14-4-0) and England's Ross Pearson (15-6-0).
Following his technical knockout win over Brenneman after just 45 seconds in UFC 152, Noke said: "I want to fight before the end of the year. I heard they're going back to Australia before the end of the year, so please Dana White, put me on that card.
"I don't care who I fight. I'll fight anyone.
"It doesn't bother me."
Noke's Coast-based brother, MMA trainer Adam Noke, said the well-rounded fighter stood a good chance of getting on the card.
"That's what he's aiming for," he said. "He was hoping to get a win with this one, so he could get in that Gold Coast event and come back to Australia and fight again."
Noke's last fight in Australia was his last loss.
American Andrew Craig beat him in a disappointing unanimous decision in Sydney in March. It was a loss that Adam Noke blamed on a knee injury his brother sustained during the fight.
Noke's three wins in his five UFC fights have all been stoppages.
He is now based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he trains under the respected Greg Jackson.
Jackson also handles the sport's biggest name, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Jones defended his title in Toronto on Sunday.
Commenting on his performance against Brenneman, Noke said: "I'm happy with the win. I'm not going to say I wished it went further.
"I felt in the best condition of my life and I was prepared to go three rounds."