Jay “The Thoroughbred” Hieron today has been officially confirmed as the last, but certainly not the least, 170 lbs. fighter in Bellator’s upcoming Season 4 Welterweight Tournament which is set to air LIVE on MTV2. The highly regarded UFC, IFL and Strikeforce veteran will enter the talent-rich tournament looking for a shot at current Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren coupled with a $100,000 pay day for his 90 days work. But, first Hieron will first have to make his way through arguably the most talented welterweight tournament in MMA to date.
“Jay’s the perfect fighter to round out our stacked welterweight tournament,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “He’s a true mixed martial artist who has very few weaknesses and a ton of strengths inside the cage. Jay will be a tremendous test for anyone and everyone in this talent rich tournament.”
The Xtreme Couture trained fighter has not lost a fight in over three years and is currently riding a seven-fight win streak. Hieron enters the welterweight tournament with an impressive 19-4 professional record and holds notable victories over the likes of UFC veteran Jake Ellenberger, UFC/DREAM veteran Jason High, and newly signed Bellator middleweight Joe “Diesel” Riggs.
Eager to return to the cage for the first time in just over a year, Hieron promises a better version of “The Thoroughbred” than ever before under the Bellator banner in 2011.
“I feel great right now. I turned a negative into a positive with my time off and just took the opportunity to sharpen my skills,” said Hieron. “When you’re training for a fight, the pressure’s on, so it’s hard to learn and evolve. It’s straight business. With this time off I’ve been able to focus on a lot of new techniques. Now I’m just excited to get back in there and show off my new arsenal.”
Growing up near Long Island, New York, Hieron found an outlet for his aggression through high school and college wrestling. Years later, Hieron now finds himself as one of the most dangerous fighters in MMA’s welterweight division. Looking toward the next chapter of his MMA career, Hieron says that Bellator’s unique tournament format is just what he’s been searching for.
“This is the exact type of situation I wanted to be in right now. With the tournament format, there’s no politics, no golden boys, and nobody getting protected, there’s none of that. If you win you move forward, and that’s that. That’s the bottom line and that’s exactly what I was looking for,” said Hieron. “I feel like I’ve been through as bad a situation that somebody can go through in their career, and I’m still here. Not only that, but my body’s right, I’m healthy, and I feel like it’s my time.”
Hieron joins former Bellator Welterweight World Champion Lyman Good, Season 2 finalist Dan Hornbuckle, undefeated Judo Olympian Rick Hawn, Season 2 semifinalist Steve Carl, undefeated knockout artist Chris Lozano, UK standout “Judo” Jim Wallhead, and fast-rising finisher Brent Weedman in the Bellator Season 4 Welterweight Tournament which will be aired LIVE on MTV2.
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