Full Contact Fighter Database







Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004

The “thorobred” Enters The Big Race

The "Thorobred" Enters the Big Race
By Jim Genia

Jay Hieron
For the past year, East Coast MMA fans have watched as Jay Hieron crushed every opponent standing before him in the ring. A former Division I college wrestler who’s honed his grappling under the tutelage of Rodrigo Gracie and who’s polished his striking at Bellmore Kickboxing Academy, Hieron made short work of the local talent, and won a hard-fought battle against Brazilian Top Team-representative Fabio Holanda. There was no doubt the man known as the "Thorobred" was destined for bigger things.

Stepping in for Jason Miller to face Canadian stalwart Georges St. Pierre at UFC 48 in Las Vegas, it seems Hieron’s destiny is now. Hailing from Freeport, Long Island, sporting a 4-0 MMA record, a 2-0 kickboxing record, and possessing a level of submission defense that enables him to dodge a black-belt level jiu-jitsu onslaught, Hieron got the call while in Sin City, helping long-time friend and training partner Phil Baroni get ready for his upcoming bout. I tracked him down there to ask him some questions.

Congrats on getting called up for the UFC. Tell me where you got your wrestling skills?
I was a wrestler from high school on. I was a national champ in junior college. I went Division I for one year. I took off a couple years, then Phil Baroni got me into the sport. Now I love it, man. I love to fight. I feel like I was born to fight.

Jay Hieron mounted on Fernando Munoz
Tell me about your training.
I train with Rodrigo Gracie in Lynbrook (Long Island) – a real competitive school. My standup I train at Bellmore Kickboxing. Keith Trimble’s my trainer, a real good trainer. I train everywhere. I want to work with the best guys – I don’t care if I have to get my ass whipped to get better. I’m trying to go places.

I’ve been ringside for all your fights, and while you’ve shown off some dominant wrestling skills, you never seem afraid to stand and trade punches. Why’s that?
That’s what I train the most with out of everything. I want my standup to be crisp. ‘Cause I got my wrestling if I don’t want to be taken down. I feel real confident in my wrestling, so I want my standup game to be real good.

How’s did you get the news you’d be fighting in the next UFC?
I came out [to Las Vegas] to help my boys with their training, the BadAss and my boy Mayhem (Phil Baroni and Jason Miller), and for personal reasons Mayhem couldn’t fight so I stepped up.

How does it feel?
It feels great, man. I’m ready to go. I’m coming off a fight so I’m in pretty good shape.

What do you know of your opponent, Georges St. Pierre?
Strong, tough wrestler who likes ground-and-pound.

What’s your gameplan?
Try to defend his takedowns, beat him up on the feet and dominate positions.

Your next fight is going to be in the big show, the UFC – is that going to effect how you train?
There’s a little pressure ’cause this is the highest level you can get on, but I’m game for it. This is what I want to do. This is the show I want to be in – it just so happened that it came now. Now I’m stepping up.

Prediction for your UFC debut?
Hopefully a knockout, know what I mean? That’s what I’m going to shoot for.

You’ve got a lot of fans rooting for you here on the East Coast. Any words for them?
They can expect an exciting fight and thanks for the support.

You’re entering the UFC with only 4 fights under your belt. What do you have to say to all those people who might question whether or not you deserve this shot?
They don’t know me yet. I’ve wrestled my whole life so it’s like I’ve been fighting my whole life. Know what I mean? There’s people that are always going to hate – I don’t even listen to it.

Congratulations again, and good luck.
Thanks man.

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
Have a comment about this story? Please share with us by filling out the fields below.

Comments are closed.