With Josh Koscheck sidelined due to a back injury, Jay “The Thoroughbred” Hieron returns to the Octagon to face Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger for a second time at UFC 151 on September 1st in Las Vegas, Nevada. The welterweight matchup was first reported by MMAjunkie.com today.
Hieron handed Ellenberger the first defeat of his pro career at an IFL event in June 2006. He went on to become IFL Welterweight Champion and nearly defeated Bellator champ “Funky” Ben Askren this past year. Ellenberger sports a 6-2 UFC record and has finished 22 of his career opponents.
Hieron (23-5-0) made two appearances for the UFC early in his career, but suffered losses to Canadians Georges “Rush” St. Pierre and Jonathan “The Road Warrior” Goulet. He rebounded with wins in 15 of his next 17 fights and captured both the IFL title and Bellator welterweight tournament championship along the way. In October, Hieron battled fellow wrestler Askren for five competitive rounds and came out on the wrong end of a razor-thin Split Decision. Askren retained his Bellator Welterweight Championship and Hieron opted to pursue new options in the Texas-based Legacy Fighting Championship promotion. He scored a second-round technical submission win in his Legacy debut in July and has now looks to carry that momentum into his return to the UFC after a seven-year hiatus.
Ellenberger (27-6-0) finds himself once again matched up against a wrestler with solid striking power, but Hieron has rarely demonstrated the sort of one-punch knockout ability that both Koscheck and Ellenberger have showcased on numerous occasions. Ellenberger is widely regarded as one of the hardest hitters at 170 pounds, but he suffered the first TKO loss of his career in his most recent fight and needs a big win in order to get right back into the title picture. Four of Ellenberger’s six UFC wins have come via a form of knockout and he holds key victories over Jake Shields and Diego “The Dream Sanchez. If Ellenberger can get past Hieron in the September rematch, he would avenge the 2006 loss and also re-establish himself as one of the division’s top contenders.
UFC 151: “Jones vs Henderson” takes place on September 1st at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is headlined by a UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Jon “Bones” Jones and Dan “Hendo” Henderson.
(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)