Photo via Bellator
Someone has finally spoken up about Jay Hieron.
The highly-touted Xtreme Couture fighter controversially decisioned his way through the final two rounds of the Bellator season four welterweight tournament against both Brent Weedman and Rick Hawn to earn a title shot against Ben Askren. Many fans and media alike disagreed with the judges but the fighters stayed silent.
"I think it was garbage. Bellator did a great job of setting up one of the greatest tournaments ever in MMA history and judging totally just skewed the whole entire thing. I think Jay Hieron lost his last two fights. That's my beef. He lost both of his last two fights. They set him up with the easiest route possible to make it to the finals and he lost his last two fights and he still ended up winning the tournament and I can't wait for a chance to fight that dude. I know all the other Bellator welterweights can't wait for the chance either. "
Lozano has had a beef with the Xtreme Couture fighter ever since he was announced as a participant in the Bellator tournament. "The Cleveland Assassin" didn't like Hieron's attitude from day one, believing Hieron had a "thug mentality" and that he thought he could waltz through the tournament.
The Strong Style fighter also feels Jay was handed a gift in the first round of the Bellator tournament, although he admits he's probably biased.
"I don't care who gets mad about it. (Jay Hieron) had the weakest opponent in the first round. They lined him up with the guy who got hurt, Steve Carl, weakest opponent in the tournament. When he gets hurt, they get Anthony Lapsley but everybody in that tournament could have beat Anthony and everybody knows that. I like Anthony, he's a good guy, but I mean they give (Jay) the weakest guy in the first round and in the second round he got beat. Whatever, even if you want to give him the second round fight, he definitely lost to Hawn in my opinion."
"I might be a little biased because I don't like the dude but that's the way I saw it. You asked my opinion, you're not asking for the truth. I'm giving you my truth but Bellator might see it differently, the judges in Oklahoma might see it differently or whoever they had judging the fight but that's what I saw. I saw a guy get slid through and handed a gift. Someone owes Rick Hawn a $100,000 check."
The Cleveland native lost in the first round of this year's welterweight tournament to former Bellator champion Lyman Good in what was the most entertaining fight of the night. Lozano admitted that sitting back and observing Hieron slip through the tournament was painful to watch, but it only made him hungrier to come back and win the next welterweight tournament. He feels there's no greater motivation.
"I'm just pissed off I got eliminated in the first round. It happens and I didn't fight the fight I should have fought. I just feel like I was better than all of the dudes. I know I'm better now but I just shit the bed in that first fight for whatever reason. I'm not making any excuses. Lyman Good was the better fighter that night but I'm better than Jay Hieron, I'm better than Rick Hawn and I'm just so hungry and so anxious to show the world that the fighter that watched that tournament, watching Jay Hieron win it, the fighter that it made me is just crazy. They basically just turned a fighter into a freaking wildfire."
Lozano will be fighting again at the Fight Night in the Flats 7 event in Cleveland, Ohio on June 4 against Derek Smith. He's looking for his second consecutive victory since losing to Lyman Good and will likely be competing in a qualifier match for the next Bellator welterweight tournament later this year.
So what do you think, Maniacs? Does Lozano have a point or is this just sour grapes?
Let's hear it.
For the complete audio of the interview with Chris Lozano, click here.