Jay Hieron Has Found a Home in Bellator Because He Loves How He Controls His Own Destiny
It wasn’t always like this.
Jay Hieron wrapped practice at the Xtreme Couture Gym in Las Vegas on a cool January day, departed in a car that runs and returned home to a place with furniture.
The climb up the MMA mountain came with its share of setbacks, but after seven years and 23 fights, Hieron, 34, is on the verge of a career breakthrough.
After witnessing the success of fellow fighter and friend Phil Baroni, Hieron took a gamble and moved to Las Vegas to fight full time. It was far from easy.
“I didn’t really have any money,” Hieron recounts. “I had enough money to move, so we slept on the floor for a month or two. That’s how hungry I was. Nothing was getting in my way.”
Hieron’s motivation would be tested immediately.
His debut bout in the UFC came against a then relatively unknown Georges St-Pierre. In just 82 seconds, “The Thoroughbred” was finished with strikes.
Humbled after the loss, Hieron had things to think about and decisions to make.
“You can either pack it in or go back to the drawing board,” he recalls.
Opting for the drawing board, Hieron amassed an 8-2 record in his next 10 fights. Knock Jay Hieron down, and he’s going to get up. Count on it.
The complete story is in the May issue, which is available now.