UFC, Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Jay Hieron (23-5) will make his return to the Octagon this September for the first time in over seven years.
The former IFL welterweight champion steps in for an injured Josh Koscheck and will face division standout Jake Ellenberger (27-6) at September's UFC 151.
Sources close to Hieron's camp confirmed the news to CageReligion.com on Wednesday.
UFC 151 takes place on September 1 at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Events Center and is headlined by a light heavyweight title clash between reigning champion Jon Jones and ex-Strikeforce and PRIDE titleholder Dan Henderson.
Hieron and Ellenberger first locked horns under the IFL banner in 2006 with the former walking away with the unanimous decision victory.
11-1 in his last 12 outings, Hieron's lone loss since 2007 came in the form of a controversial split decision to reigning Bellator champ Ben Askren last October. During his current streak, the Xtreme Couture representative has notched victories over fellow UFC vets Jason High, Jesse Taylor and Joe Riggs. In his most recent outing, Hieron submitted Romario da Silva at Legacy Fighting Championship 12 last month.
Ellenberger, meanwhile, will look to bounce back from his first defeat in over three years after suffering a knockout loss to Hieron's teammate, Martin Kampmann, in June. Prior to the loss, the 27-year-old was on an impressive six-fight win streak, including victories over former title contenders Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez.
(Pictured: Jay Hieron)
About the Author
Written by Matt Manzella
Matt Manzella is the founder and managing editor of CageReligion.com, as well as ProGuitarNews.com. He also serves as a professional play-by-play commentator and MMA judge in the state of Michigan.
Matt Manzella is the managing editor for CageReligion.com and host of Cage Religion Radio. Matt has been working in the television broadcasting industry for over seven years and is also a play-by-play commentator and judge for the Impact Fight League and Warrior Xtreme Cagefighting.
Phil Lanni is the co-host of Cage Religion Radio. Phil wrestled three years in the NCWA at Grand Valley State University -- a team that won nationals all three years. As an individual, Phil is a three-time national qualifier and was ranked seventh in the nation at 184-pounds to earn All-American status. Phil also serves as a color commentator and judge for the Impact Fight League.