October 03, 2009
Make the choice: big fish in a medium-sized pond or potentially a guppy in a big pond? That was Jay Hieron's decision to make when Strikeforce and the UFC came calling. His Affliction contract was up for grabs and Hieron had two fights left on his deal when the t-shirt maker folded its fight promotion. He said the money was about the same between Strikeforce and the UFC but he chose to make a run at the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title against Nick Diaz. Then three problems arose, Diaz doesn't give rat's tukus about going after that title, Strikeforce or Hieron (0:40 mark):
"Diaz is [expletive] around. I don't know what the kid's doing," told Cagewriter. "He's trying to box and all of that. That's the fight outside of the UFC that makes the most sense for a world title fight."
Hieron was the victim of a Diaz screw job at the August Strikeforce event. Diaz no-showed his commission mandated drug test in California and was dumped from the card. Jesse Taylor stepped up to fight Hieron on short notice but the fight didn't even make the Showtime broadcast. That cost Hieron plenty of money in salary and endorsements. Now Diaz's unreliabilty has cost Hieron a shot at getting the fight on CBS on Nov. 7. There's no doubt Strikeforce would've pushed Diaz-Hieron for the CBS card but Ken Hershman, Showtime's Vice President of Sports Prgramming, made it clear before the Aug. 15 event that he can't promote Diaz right now as a main event/main card fighter.
Hieron has one more fight on his Strikeforce deal. If that next fight fails to produce Diaz, it doesn't sound Hieron will re-up with the promotion. With Hieron's luck, the UFC will take a pass on him when he is a free agent again.
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