by Ken Pishna (Reporting by Steven Marrocco) – MMAWeekly.com
MMAWeekly.com sources on Wednesday confirmed that Jay Hieron has signed a new multi-fight contract with Strikeforce that will put him on the promotion’s Aug. 15 event “Carano vs. Cyborg.” He will face Nick Diaz for the first ever Strikeforce welterweight championship.
Sources indicated that Hieron was in talks with both Strikeforce and the Ultimate Fighting Championship that came down to the wire. One of the deciding factors between the two promotions appears to be Hieron having already committed to appearing in the upcoming MMA video game from EA Sports, a challenger to the UFC branded THQ video game “UFC 2009 Undisputed.”
It was announced on Wednesday that Fedor Emelianenko – still in talks with the UFC – will don the cover of the EA Sports game.
Hieron (17-4) was on the front lines for the collapse of the IFL in summer 2008 and had 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, N.Y. He is a mainstay of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
Strikeforce started the “Carano vs. Cyborg” event with four title bouts scheduled, which it saw dwindle to two due to varying circumstances. The signing of Hieron vs. Diaz for the welterweight belt, and the previously announced signing of a bout with Renato “Babalu” Sobral defending his Strikeforce light heavyweight title from Gegard Mousasi, Strikeforce is back to four title bouts on Aug. 15.
The Babalu vs. Mousasi bout had originally been slated to appear on the recently cancelled Affliction “Trilogy” event.