A 2008 U.S. Olympian and former ESPY award nominee for Best Collegiate Athlete, Ben Askren, the reigning Bellator Welterweight Champion, will put his title on the line for the first time against Xtreme Couture fighter Jay Hieron.
Askren and Hieron have made no secret that this fight will be a grudge match of sorts as both competitors have used social media to display their dislike for one another.
While both fighters certainly respect each other’s accomplishments, contrasting styles and personalities have added another level of intrigue to an already highly-anticipated fight.
“I’ve been looking forward to this fight for a while,” Askren said. “I’m more excited to dominate Jay than anyone I have ever fought, so October 29th can’t get here fast enough. We’re going to put on a show.”
For Hieron, the former UFC veteran and Las Vegas-trained fighter is looking to extend his winning streak to 11 with a championship victory over Askren. “The Thoroughbred” earned his title shot by claiming the Season 4 welterweight tournament with victories over Anthony Lapsley, Brent Weedman, and former judoka Olympian Rick Hawn. While the New York native fully understands the Midwest crowd will mostly be in Askren’s corner, that doesn’t bother the confident Hieron.
“I’ve been getting ready for this fight for months, so location doesn’t matter,” said Hieron. “I’ve got one goal in mind, and that’s punching this guy in the face and taking his belt. We all know the game he is going to bring to the cage, and everyone knows mine, so it’s going to be a war, simple as that.”