Jay Hieron fights Joe Riggs on Jan. 30 at Strikeforce: Miami at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla. The welterweight title contender says he is happy with Riggs as an opponent, not letting his focus waiver.
Hieron was lined up to fight Nick Diaz for the Strikeforce welterweight crown last August, but when Diaz failed to take a drug screening to get his license in California, Hieron instead went on to defeat Jesse Taylor on the preliminary card that night.
Offered a fight with Dream titleholder Marius Zaromskis, Hieron turned down the bout citing Zaromskis’ lack of name value in America. He feels Riggs is the more well-known competitor.
“I mean me and him (Riggs) are the only two other guys in Strikeforce with names, and at this point in my career that’s who I need to fight,” said the Xtreme Couture trained athlete. “I need to fight names because after the fight I want my stock to go up. It’s that point for me already. It’s unfortunate with Riggs, but come fight day it’s all business.”
A bout with Diaz or Zaromskis is likely to happen for Hieron if he gets past Riggs, but the 33-year-old veteran isn’t distracted by future possibilities. He’s solely focused on Riggs.
“I’m not looking past Riggs. He’s definitely somebody that’s been around the game for a minute on the top level. It’s an exciting fight,” said Hieron. “I’m not looking past nothing. I’ve got great sparring partners right now and southpaw. I’m feeling real good right now, so come fight night I’ll be ready to go.”
Riggs is known for his heavy hands, but Hieron knows there’s much more than meets the eye with the crafty Arizonian.
“(Riggs’) got some wrestling skills. He’s got some jits skills. I mean he’s well-rounded. If you go into a fight thinking about one thing, it’s probably going to end early,” he commented. “I’ve got a well-rounded game and I’m going out there and try to put it all together.
“Everything is on the money right now. I’m sharp. My head’s good. I’m healthy, and that’s all I could ask for right now. Everything is going well. I’m peaking right. I’m excited to be a part of the show on the 30th. Fighting solves everything.”
SATURDAY, JANUARY 30, 2010 – 10:00PM/ET (PRELIMS AT 7:30PM)