A little something new we’re starting here at MMA on Tap. From the IFL’s New Jersey show this past April, here’s IFL welterweight champion Jay Hieron making his first title defense against scrappy veteran Mark Miller.
Chris Horodecki and Shad Lierley weigh-in for an IFL event in June 2007. Photo courtesy of the International Fight League.
The International Fight League earlier today announced details for their upcoming East Rutherford, NJ event, which will take place at the IZOD Center on April 4th.
Three title fights are scheduled to headline the card. IFL light heavyweight champion Vladimir Matyushenko will make his first title defense against New Jersey native Jamal Patterson. Popular welterweight champion and Xtreme Couture product Jay Hieron will attempt to keep his belt around his waist when he goes up against former U.S. Marine Mark Miller.
Upstart Shad Lierley, who made headlines after going toe-to-toe with lightweight sensation Chris Horodecki last year, will drop down to the featherweight division in exchange for a shot against current title holder Wagnney Fabiano, who submitted L.C. Davis this past December to grab the vacant belt.
Horodecki is also expected to return to action at the event, currently against an opponent yet to be named.
The nine-fight card will feature matchups between four different camps. Fighters from Renzo Gracie’s Academy will take on athletes from Midwest Combat while American Top Team will make it’s IFL debut against martial artists from the renowned Miletich Fighting Systems.
“I like the local feel of this card,? said IFL Vice President Bas Rutten. “?In addition to three outstanding championship bouts, featuring fighters from New York and New Jersey, you have Renzo Gracie?‘s camp, which was the champion last year, Midwest Combat, which features our top fighters from the Chicago area, and great battles with the Miletich camp and American Top Team, who we are very excited to have on board.?”
Miletich fighters Rory Markham and Mike Ciesnolevicz will go up against American Top Team’s Emyr Bussade and Lew Polley respectively. L.C. Davis will also likely compete for Pat Miletich as well.
A lightweight clash between Deividas Taurosevicius and Bart ?Palaszewski is the only announced battle between Renzo Gracie’s Academy and Midwest Combat as of right now. Skilled welterweight Delson Heleno will also represent Renzo Gracie on the card.
Jay Hieron works some ground and pound on San Jose Razorclaws' welterweight Donnie Liles at the IFL's event in Los Angeles in March 2007. Provided by IFL. Getty Images.
After close to three years of bouncing from promotion to promotion, Jay Hieron has finally found a home in the IFL, where he has fought six times thus far as a member of the Los Angeles Anacondas.
In those six fights, Hieron quickly established himself as one of the top welterweights in the league. His success earned him a bid in the IFL’s inaugural Grand Prix, pitting four fighters from each weight class against each other in an elimination style tournament, in hopes of crowning a champion.
Hieron sees the Grand Prix as a chance to not only showcase his skills but to prove that he is indeed the best fighter at 170 lbs the IFL has to offer. With the help of those at Xtreme Couture and his former coach Shawn Tompkins, Hieron is set to make the most of the opportunity.