The former IFL and Strikeforce welterweight is officially on the market and looking to sign a new deal to hopefully return before the close of 2010. Hieron prematurely announced his free agency in August, but MMAWeekly.com has now confirmed that the Xtreme Couture fighter has been freed of any contractual obligations and a matching period from Strikeforce.
Sources close to the situation alerted MMAWeekly.com of the move, and now with Hieron’s free agency confirmed, the New York native is expected to start talking to potential employers immediately.
Speaking in August while at the UFC Fan Expo in Boston, Hieron expressed his frustration about waiting for a fight, having not competed since January 2010.
“Yesterday, I’d like to have something finalized,” Hieron answered when asked how soon he’d like to get a contract done. “Yeah, I’m going to fight in 2010. Like I said, I never leave the gym. I’m in shape, so as soon as I get stuff situated I’m moving forward and I’m going to sign to fight right away, wherever that may be.”
All signs point to Hieron returning to the UFC where he spent time for only two fights back in 2004 and 2005. Since leaving the UFC, Hieron has racked up 14 fights, amassing a 12-2 record, with a current seven-fight win streak intact.
Hieron was originally scheduled to face Nick Diaz in August 2009 for a shot at the Strikeforce welterweight belt, but Diaz pulled out of the fight and the promotion gave him Jesse Taylor instead. Hieron won the fight, but never got another chance at Diaz or the Strikeforce title.
If Hieron does indeed sign with the UFC, it will be another top notch addition to an already impressive welterweight division, which includes champion Georges St-Pierre, as well as former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields, who makes his Octagon debut at UFC 121 next week.
Strikeforce officials were unavailable for comment at the time of publication of this article.