Long Island MMA would like to congratulate New York native and, Long Islands own Jay Hieron on his victory vs. Rick Hawn on MTV2. Jay was in full support of New York MMA, wearing New York Knicks blue and orange on his fight shorts.
Olympic Judo Player Hawn fired up his new and improved striking arsenal and assumed the role of the aggressor right off the bat. Hawn was leading the exchanges and stalking Hieron for all three rounds. The first frame unfolded with Hieron looking comfortable in a sharp counter-punching rhythm, snapping off leg kicks and finding his mark with stiff flurries while circling out and controlling distance. Hawn was assertive and landed his fair share of punches, but seemed to have a little trouble finding his range while Hieron cut unpredictable patterns and mixed in a high kick, flying knee, and a spinning back kick for memorable first round moments.
Rick Hawn got a bead on Hieron in the second and found success by leading with a short right hook, then pieced his jab and left hook together to shift the momentum more in his direction. Jay Hieron continued to cut angles and counter; Hawn methodically pursued while steadily improving the accuracy and volume of his kickboxing repertoire. The Judoka slipped a stiff uppercut through and followed with a quick combination toward the end of the round. The round came to a close with Hieron catching Hawn off-balance with a take-down that was immediately reversed and negated.
Measuring distance well with a pawing left hand, Hawn appeared to mark up Hieron’s face with an accumulation of long jabs and right crosses throughout the third, all the while walking him down and clearly commanding the aggression aspect of the contest. The same elusive strategy was upheld by Hieron, who pivoted back while trying to sight-in his boxing game, but Hawn continued to dab him up with jabs and hooks, even casting a body kick and spinning back-fist to his retreating opponent. Hieron’s eye was a little roughed up, but he hung tough and kept stringing his punches together until the bell sounded.
The bout was close, competitive, and exciting throughout, with a second round that could have gone either way. The result was a split-decision for Hieron, who earned a 29-28 vote from two judges, while the third had the same score in Hawn’s favor. The Xtreme Couture fighter advances to 22-4 and a shot at champion Ben Askren’s title, pocketing a cool $100,000 in the process. My question to all you Suffolk County Long Island Natives is do you guys think Hieron can make it past Askren?