Jay Hieron had to pay back signing bonus to part ways with Bellator

Jay Hieron has not competed since a loss to Ben Askren in October with the Bellator welterweight title on the line. The defeat, snapping a ten-fight winning streak for Hieron, was also apparently his last match under the Bellator banner after recently announcing the organization accepted his release…though not without a price.

“Just got my release from BELLATOR..Time to work my way up too the top,” an excited Hieron posted on Twitter.

However, when pressed for details by NBC Sports, Hieron broke the situation down in more detail, saying, “I asked for a rematch with Askren and they said no…to go back through the tournament. That just didn’t make sense to me cause I thought I beat him already.”

“I had to pay them back my signing bonus, but at this point in my career, I would rather do that than sit on the shelf,” Hieron revealed.

Now, Hieron will look to get back inside the Octagonstarting with a fight at Legacy FC 12 on July 13 against an opponent who has yet to be named.

The New York native holds an overall record of 22-5 with wins over Brent Weedman, Rick Hawn, Pat Healy, Jason High, and Jake Ellenberger.

PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/BELLATOR

15 COMMENTS
  • Lord Faust says:

    Jay also signed a contract to that effect and refused to enter a tournament. Bellator doesn’t do rematches, and Hieron may have been the victim of a bad decision against Askren but so were his opponents on the way to that title shot.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    This guy seems to have an issue everywhere he goes… not exactly the persona you want to project if you want to be back in the octagon.

    And I agree Lord Faust Heiron got a couple close ones thrown his way so karma evened things out in the end.

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  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Agree with you guys 100%. Hawn got robbed against Hieron. Weedman too as I recall.

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  • MCM says:

    @Rece
    the guys “issues” all stem from one thing. The orgs he’s in don’t let him fight. He left SF after beating Riggs the same night Diaz beat Whitemare, and sat on the shelf as Sakurai and Noons got shots at Diaz while he was left waiting. That’s why he went to BFC so that he could actually fight. I agree with Bellator in not giving him a rematch, but if he stays he’s gonna sit around again waiting for the new WW tourney to start up, when he could be fighting in smaller shows.
    Personally, I think he should be back in SF taking on guys like Dailey, Marquardt,and Woodley. Each one of those fights is a co-headliner for SF.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    Yes thanks for reminding me of the SF scenario… Guess I can’t fault him for wanting to be active.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    The upside: Bellator at least gave him the option of a buy-out, and he only had to give back the signing bonus. (Which I think is fair if you’re asking out of a contract with fights remaining.)

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  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    No thats not right and Im sorry to do this. At SF he kept turning fights down and again he is turning fights down. It says it in the article. He didnt want to go through the tourney, just like with SF he is trying to tell the promotion what to do and both times they have told him to fuck off.
    Heiro fought twice for SF in 5 months before his title shot was turned upside down by Diaz failing to turn up for a test. He was then ofered the Dream champ Zaromskis but refused. SF could not afford to have a fighter dictating to them so there in the problem lies.

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  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Im pretty sure he would sign with SF unless TV time and a title shot was in his contract. SF said bye bye and so have Bellator.
    Jay Heiron got too big for his boots and the companies have said see ya.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    SF couldn’t afford to have a fighter dictating to them? Yet they had Overeem telling them when he would and wouldn’t fight for what 2 yrs?

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  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Jay Heiron is not Alistair Overeem for 1 and for 2 Alistair didnt fight for them so your point is? Do you think SF wanted the Overeem situation? Also Alistair was champ. Overeem is a massive draw so if he would fight for them again they were happy to have him but Jay Heiron is not really much of a draw at all and when they tried to build him up when they needed him he said no. I dont get your point. Jay and Overeem refused to fight for SF and…? Are you trying to say they could afford a guy with minor pulling power dictating to them and demanding title shots, TV time and refusing to fight? Whats your point?
    “Hey everybody come sign for SF, you can pick who to fight, refuse to fight on the main card, get TV time in your contract along with a title shot even if you are not worth it”

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  • MCM says:

    LOGIC: “Heiro fought twice for SF in 5 months before his title shot was turned upside down by Diaz failing to turn up for a test. He was then ofered the Dream champ Zaromskis but refused. SF could not afford to have a fighter dictating to them so there in the problem lies.”

    I understand where you’re going with this and why you might see it this way, but the way I remember it is he was offered Zaromskis but turned it down to wait for them to reschedule a title fight with Diaz. Now that may not sound much different than what you wrote, but when you compare it to what Condit is doing or what Hendo just did, you’ll see that logically, it’s the same thing.
    As for TV time and Title shots, well Fighters have a right to negotiate with companies based on what companies have to offer. Just like in the UFC where fighters negotiate their contracts to include PPV cuts (Lombard just did it, CroCop did it before that), thereby guaranteeing themselves Headlining status. SF doesn’t have PPV’s but they did have a TV contract. As for title shots, well Fedors contract with the UFC had an immediate title shot written in to it, so it’s not unheard of in the business.
    Now you can say that Hieron is no Fedor or Overeem (who turned down fight after fight for the company and only became a draw during those two years), but he’s easily as big a star to SF’s WW division as Lombard is to the UFC’s MW.
    All I’m saying is that I completely understand his business decisions and for the most part (we’ll see how this one pans out), think they’re the right ones.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    I definitely understand Hieron’s desire to both stay active and not go back to the end of the line. Bellator is not flexible on their stance that a title shot requires a tournament win, though. The fact Alvarez was told he had to win a tournament says a lot. (Obviously Alvarez’ loss wasn’t controversial, but in any other promotion a solid win over a top 10 guy — like Aoki — basically guarantees you’re “in the mix”.)

    Compared to a lot of Bellator’s roster — especially now — Hieron also possesses some name-value. I don’t think this is a sign Hieron is “trouble” as far as contracts go, he knows what he wants and realises he needs to stay active. I think he made the right decision; he’s a little too tenured in MMA to be doing the tourney grind again.

    I respect Bellator’s consistency as well as Hieron’s side; it makes sense for them to go their separate ways.

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  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Sorry I had the time line wrong.
    He fought once, then got the title shot that went wrong, offered Jesse Taylor said no, then offered Zaromskis and said no, then he fought Riggs in Jan and his contract was up. To resign with SF he demanded TV time and a title shot be written into his contract and SF just let him go.
    That is the best I understand it.
    With Bellator he also demanded special treatment and was told no.

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  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I would be surprised if the UFC signs him. Maybe SF would give him another shot on the undercard.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    I could see him back in the UFC but I don’t see him faring too well.

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