Jay rocked it in the International Fight League and became IFL’s first welterweight champion. He even defended his belt against Mark Miller with a first round TKO. Hieron was the reigning badass in IFL and literally overnight, the entire organization disappeared. Hieron was left with a giant metallic belt that didn’t really match with anything in his wardrobe so he went to fight for Affliction in ‘Day of Reckoning’. After serving Jason High a brutal first round KO in just over a minute, everyone in Anaheim sort of stood there in silence. It was as if they witnessed the detonation of the atom bomb all within the confines of a padded ring. That night, everyone saw what Hieron does on a daily basis, dude cleans competition and mops the floor behind him. Jay was scheduled to fight in that mythical event known as Affliction: Trilogy against Paul Daley but…well let’s just say we all know what happened with that (pretty sure I stubbed my toe kicking that dead horse).
Jay was out a paycheck and had no organization to fight under. UFC propositioned Hieron to sign with their promotion but Hieron, who just signed with EA Sports MMA, refused their offer and chose Strikeforce instead. Hieron’s decision was primarily based on an instant title shot Strikeforce offered to him against Nick Diaz. The universe was finally aligned to give Hieron what he deserved, and then the universe decided to urinate on his future once again. Diaz intentionally missed the CSAC drug test forcing him to drop out of the fight and the title shot scheduled for Hieron was demoted to a non-televised, regular welterweight bout. That night, Hieron got drunk off his ‘I’m a complete badass’ potion (you can only get it at Xtreme Couture) and won a convincing unanimous decision over Diaz’s replacement, Jesse Taylor.
Everything seemed to be squared away for another shot at the title. It seemed as if Jay Hieron redeemed all of his ‘bad luck coupons’. Not entirely. Hieron was shafted for a title shot when his agent, Ken Pavia, turned down a fight with Marius Zaromskis because ‘he didn’t think his name was big enough’. Damn. Instead, Strikeforce paired together the Dream Welterweight GP champion with Nick Diaz for the Strikeforce welterweight title. Strikeforce decided to grant Jay Hieron a fight with Joe Riggs which was supposed to be televised but was bumped to an undercard when Wes Sims decided to step up and face Bobby Lashley. Jay Hieron was relegated to a non-televised, undercard bout, again. EA Sports tried to ‘white knight’ the situation by broadcasting the Joe Riggs vs. Jay Hieron fight on their site as a live webstream. Their intentions were noble, but it was a complete friggin disaster. The only thing the world saw was a grey loading box repeat every 60 seconds.
Since Strikeforce Miami, Jay Hieron has kept a relatively low profile in the MMA world. Or perhaps it is the MMA world who has kept a relatively low profile on Jay Hieron. Alternatively, it could be the perceived profile of Jay Hieron oppressing the profile which he could establish in the MMA world. Regardless, Jay Hieron spontaneously informed all of us that he has been released from his Strikeforce contract last August and then subsequently implied that ‘we know what he’s about to do next‘. Everyone assumed that he was going to fight in the UFC, however at that point, if a stray asteroid hit Jay Hieron’s car, it would have paled in comparison to the amount of bad luck the dude has endured over the past few years.
Last November, it was announced that Jay Hieron signed with Bellator and that he would participate in their season four welterweight tournament. This past weekend, Jay Hieron advanced to the second round by submitting Anthony Lapsey (a guy that looks incredibly like RZA) in the first round. We caught up with Jay Hieron after his fight to see what it was like to be in the gym for an entire year without a single fight.