Maggie Hendricks

That green light at the end of the tunnel? It's Jay Hieron

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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It's not odd for fighters to travel the country to train. With the idea that iron sharpens iron, elite fighters will go to different camps and gyms to work out with top professionals. Though most gyms welcome this nomadic lifestyle, if a fighter comes in with an attitude and yet no skills to back it up, there is just one way to shut him up.

At Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, home of Randy Couture, Forrest Griffin, Tyson Griffin, Gray Maynard, Gina Carano and many other top fighters, sometimes a fighter will come in and ask to train with the pros. If that fighter has done some talking, but isn't doing the walking, veteran fighter Jay Hieron asks his coaches if he can "greenlight" the new fighter. If he hears a yes, Hieron will then go all out in humbling the braggart. That happened recently with a young man who was a little too impressed with himself.

Hieron greenlighted him, which meant beating him up and down the mat, dropping him several times and waiting for him to get back to his feet, pounding on him until the guy asked him to let up. Hieron just looked at him, shrugged, and said, “It’s the pro class, man.”

“Nobody likes douchebags coming in their gym,” Hieron explained when I asked him about his passion for greenlighting. “You get these guys, they think they’re the toughest dudes in the world and so they just walk right in to our place. I love guys like that. They need to be humbled ... I wouldn’t go to someone else’s gym and disrespect it that way. That’s like you coming into my house and disrespecting me. That’s not gonna happen.”

Xtreme Couture should turn this into a reality show. Who wouldn't want to see a puffed-up, overconfident fighter, rather proud of his two or three local wins, have his butt handed to him by the pros at Xtreme Couture? I would definitely tune in.

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