SUNRISE, Fla. – Strikeforce welterweight Jay Hieron may have (once again) earned his shot at a 170-pound title fight, but he hardly impressed en route to booking his appointment.
Hieron earned a rather one-sided unanimous-decision win over fellow contender Joe Riggs in a 15-minute affair that did little to excite the fans in attendance.
The bout served as the featured preliminary card fight of Saturday night’s “Strikeforce: Miami” event at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., which preceded the night’s Showtime-broadcast main card.
Hieron stunned Riggs early in the fight with a right hand, but “Diesel” recovered well. While Riggs answered back with a few jabs, Hieron secured the lacking-in-action opening frame with a few kicks to the legs and body.
Much of the final two frames saw Hieron in top position, looking to inflict damage on his foe with a ground-and-pound attack. A cut over Riggs’ eye became worse as the final round wore on, and it became increasingly evident his only option for victory was a stoppage. Riggs tried a kimura from the bottom, but Hieron shook it off and returned to his pounding assault.
When the final bell sounded, the winner was evident, though fans appeared relieved the bout had finally concluded.
While Hieron was passed over in favor Marius Zaromskis for a crack at Nick Diaz and the vacant welterweight belt, his second Strikeforce win should put “The Thouroughbred” in line for the next shot.
“Joe Riggs is a tough guy,” Hieron said following the win. “I came to Strikeforce for a title shot, but I wanted to … beat him and prove that I deserved a legitimate shot.
“It was a great win for me, but I don’t care who is next.”
Hieron (19-4 MMA, 2-0 SF) now has seven-straight wins, dating back to his days with the IFL. The loss snapped a four fight win streak for Riggs (32-11 MMA, 3-3 SF).
The Hieron vs. Riggs bout, which many MMA fans and observers felt belonged on the evening’s main card, was instead featured on a free Internet stream at EASportsMMA. Unfortunately for all parties involved, most MMA fans reported technical difficulties with the live feed.