(This is the last known photo taken of Jay Hieron before he was forced to cut off that thumb to fulfill contractual obligations.)
You gotta feel sorry for Jay Hieron. After a successful run through Bellator’s season 4 welterweight tournament, he was given the chance to knock reigning champion and narcolepsy catalyst Ben Askren from his perennial throne at Bellator 56. The fight was close to say the least, but it was the general consensus that Hieron had done enough (ie. stop Askren’s takedowns) to earn the title. The judges, however, saw things differently, awarding Askren the victory despite his usual lack of anything resembling offense. Sometimes these things happen in MMA. And just like that, Hieron’s title hopes, and a ten fight win streak dating back to 2007, were destroyed.
Cut to a year later. Hieron has requested time and time again for a rematch with Askren, only to be repeatedly denied by the Bellator brass, who informed him that if he is so desperate to get “Funky,” he should sign up for the next tournament and try his luck. Hieron wasn’t having it, and asked to be released from his contract.
And although Bellator are likely dealing with some separation issues at the moment, they kindly obliged “The Thoroughbred”…on the grounds that he would return a significant amount of money first.
Hear Hieron’s side of the story after the jump.