by Steven Marrocco – MMAWeekly.com
It appears that Affliction refugee Jay Hieron has found a new home.
Three days after the clothing company ceased its prizefighting operations, the former International Fight League welterweight champion has agreed in principal to a multi-fight deal with Strikeforce, though a contract has yet to be signed.
In his first fight, Hieron would be expected to step in for Joe Riggs to face Nick Diaz at Strikeforce “Carano vs. Cyborg” in San Jose, Calif., on Aug. 15. The fight will likely be for the first ever Strikeforce welterweight title.
Carano vs. Cyborg, which boasted no less than four title fights, recently saw its championship schedule halved by injuries and withdrawals. Heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, who was scheduled to defend his title in June, was forced to withdraw from a return against Fabricio Werdum due to a re-aggravated hand injury. Riggs withdrew last week after reportedly suffering an adverse reaction to prescription medication.
Hieron (17-4) was on the front lines for the collapse of the IFL in summer 2008 and fielded offers from the UFC and Strikeforce before accepting an offer with Affliction. In January, he fought Jason High in the swing bout for Affliction’s second event, “Day of Reckoning,” earning a brutal knockout in 64 seconds. A native of Long Island, New York, he is a mainstay of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
The main event between Gina Carano and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos for the women’s 145-pound divisional championship, and a lightweight title rematch between reigning champ Josh Thomson and former champ Gilbert Melendez remain the only five-round fights untouched, though rumors have circulated about a possible injury to Thomson.
(Editor’s Note: This article initially stated that Jay Hieron had signed a multi-fight contract with Strikeforce. It was updated at 10:15 a.m. PT Tuesday to state that he has agreed to the deal in principal, but has yet to actually sign a contract with Strikeforce.)