MMAWeekly confirmed today that former IFL champ Jay Hieron (17-4) will fill in for Joe Riggs to face Nick Diaz at Strikeforce: Carano vs Cyborg on August 15th in San Jose, CA. The bout will crown the organization’s first ever welterweight champion.
Riggs had pulled out of the fight last week due to a “bad reaction to an as of yet undisclosed drug.” GracieFighter.com reported yesterday that Hieron was the front runner to fill the spot after attempts to sign Takanori Gomi went unfulfilled. Phil Baroni was also nixed by Showtime as a possible opponent for Diaz.
Hieron was originally scheduled to face Paul Daley this Saturday at Affliction: Trilogy before the event was canceled last week. The cancellation of Affliction: Trilogy also allowed Strikeforce to move the Renato “Babalu” Sobral – Gegard Mousasi fight from the cancelled Affliction show to the August 15th Strikeforce event. The Babalu – Mousasi bout will be for Babalu’s Strikeforce light heavyweight title.
We caught up with Nick Diaz last month, where he spoke to us about his difficult path in MMA. You can watch our feature with Diaz below: