The questions about Jay Hieron’s future finally have been answered.
After spinning his wheels in Strikeforce and never getting a title shot that always seemed within arm’s reach, the UFC veteran and former IFL champion has joined Bellator Fighting Championships.
He’s one of eight competitors who compete in the upcoming season-four welterweight tournament, which commences in early 2011.
Other confirmed participants include Dan Hornbuckle, Rick Hawn, Steve Carl, Chris Lozano, Jim Wallhead and Brent Weedman. The winner of the 12-week tournament gets a shot at current Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren.
“It’s just a great fit for me,” stated Hieron, who hasn’t fought since January. “At this point in my career, I want to stay as active as possible, and the tournament format allows me to do that. It’s a great organization, and it’s just the perfect fit.”
Hieron (19-4 MMA, 0-0 BFC) enters Bellator with a seven-fight win streak and nine wins in his past 10 fights. Most recently, he scored decision wins over Strikeforce fighters Jesse Taylor and Joe Riggs, but the former state high-school wrestling champion and JUCO national champ never was booked for the highly anticipated title fight with champion Nick Diaz.
“Jay Hieron is a fantastic signing for us at 170 pounds,” Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated. “Jay is a world-class fighter with serious talent. I can’t wait to see him back on national television competing against other top fighters where he belongs. He is a spectacular addition to our upcoming season-four welterweight tournament.”
The New Yorker currently lives in Las Vegas and trains with Xtreme Couture.