Jay Hieron hopes to continue his winning ways this Saturday at Strikeforce: Miami, where the former IFL welterweight champion will face the heavy-handed Joe “Diesel” Riggs. Hieron told FightLine.com that he is looking forward to having an entertaining bout with Riggs this Saturday.
“I’m very well rounded, I know Joe Riggs has a well grounded game too,” Hieron told Raj Giri of FightLine.com. “I’m just trying to get out there and do what I do best, and that’s to make the fight a good fight.”
The bout is Hieron’s second with Strikeforce. He was originally slated to debut with the organization at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg last August and face Nick Diaz for the inaugural Strikeforce welterweight championship. However, the bout never took place as Diaz dropped out of the fight after he missed a pre-fight drug test mandated by the California State Athletic Commission. Hieron went on to face – and defeat – Jesse Taylor at the event in a non-title affair.
“It sucked, because that was my shot,” Hieron noted of Diaz dropping out of the fight. “But I had a fight with Jesse Taylor and I came out with the win.
“All that’s water on the bridge now, Diaz isn’t even on my mind,” he continued. “I’ve got Joe Riggs on the 30th and that’s all I’m thinking about right now.”
While Hieron will be facing Riggs, Diaz will be competing on the same card, facing Dream welterweight champion Marius Zaromskis for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight championship. Hieron noted that while he is disappointed to not be getting the shot, he’s happy to be facing Riggs.
“Of course I should be in that fight, but I’m not,” he stated. “But I got another fight, which I’m blessed to have with Joe Riggs, you know? I want to fight guys with the names and Riggs has been around the sport for awhile… he’s been on the big show.”
While he wasn’t able to face Diaz last August, his training for that fight inadvertently helped him for his upcoming battle with Riggs.
“He’s [Riggs] a southpaw and I had a lot of great southpaws for sparring since I thought I was fighting Diaz (who is also a southpaw),” said Hieron. “So everything worked out.”
As for what’s next, Hieron plans on taking it one step at a time.
“I’m focusing on Riggs now… I’m not looking past him. First thing’s first, and I’m focusing 100% on Riggs on the 30th and everything will fall into place after that.”
Strikeforce: Miami takes place this Saturday, January 30, 2010 from the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, FL and will air live on Showtime. The bout between Joe Riggs and Jay Hieron will air live on EASportsMMA.com.