Bellator sent shockwaves through MMA in March by signing former UFC star Roger Huerta. They pulled out another surprise this morning when they announced the signing of Jay Hieron, a veteran MMA fighter who is on a seven-fight winning streak. He will be a part of Bellator's season four tournament.
"Jay Hieron is a fantastic signing for us at 170 lbs.," said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney via press release. "Jay is a world-class fighter with serious talent. I can’t wait to see him back on National television competing against other top fighters where he belongs. Jay’s a spectacular addition to our upcoming season 4 welterweight tournament, where he could earn a shot at our Bellator Welterweight World Champion, Ben Askren."
Signing Huerta ended up being a bust for Strikeforce, as he was upset by eventual lightweight tournament champ Pat Curran. Then lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez destroyed Huerta in a two-round TKO. Hieron will have to work his way up through the tournament, just as Huerta was expected to do.
Hieron was most recently with Strikeforce, but was assumed to be headed to the UFC when he left SF. But he was vague about where he was going in an August interview.
"Everything's looking good right now," he continued. "I'm definitely going to fight in 2010. There's definitely offers out there, but there's a couple things I'm going to work out. Hopefully we'll be signed soon and fighting. I want to be the best in the world and going through all the stuff I've gone through has made me stronger."
His last fight was in January of 2010, and he'll be close to meeting his deadline of fighting again this year. Bellator's fourth season is scheduled to start in January, though they don't have a television deal lined up just yet.