Former International Fight League welterweight champion Jay Hieron (Pictures) has verbally accepted an offer to take on Drew Fickett (Pictures) at Affliction 2 “Day of Reckoning” on Oct. 11 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Fickett’s manager, Alexander Oxendine of 2 A-T Media, confirmed his client had been made an offer and negotiations are ongoing.
“We’re in discussion with a few organizations and Affliction is one of them,” said Oxendine. “They are at the top of our list. As far as Drew is concerned, he’s made a great turnaround with his life and training. He is ready to move forward.”
Since his last UFC bout in April 2007, Fickett’s career has seemed to be a rollercoaster ride outside of the cage.
An on-again off-again title bout against EliteXC welterweight champion Jake Shields (Pictures) never got off the ground due to injuries to both participants, which led to scheduling difficulties later down the road.
After a handful of failed attempts, EliteXC representatives said Fickett’s “personal problems” had taken a toll on their relationship with the wayward fighter, and they planned to release him from his contract.
In June, Fickett attempted to step in and fight Luke Stewart (Pictures) for a Strikeforce event in San Jose, Calif. However, a battle over Fickett’s contract obligations with Canada’s Maximum Fighting Championship and its owner Mark Pavelich spilled onto the Internet, as the fighter had supposedly already been booked for a July 25 MFC card.
“He’s ready to move forward and handle himself professionally,” says Oxendine of Fickett’s last few months. “He wants to take his fighting career seriously and to the next level.”
Fickett (35-6) has won five of his last six fights, including victories over Mark Weir (Pictures) and Spirit MC 176-pound champion Jae Suk Lim (Pictures). On Aug. 8, Fickett churned out a first-round submission over Joe Manzello after stumbling six days earlier with a second-round loss to Richard Villes (Pictures) at a RITC event in his native Arizona.
Hieron, 32, is stepping in the ring after fielding offers from the UFC, Elite XC and Strikeforce for his services. Hieron signed a three-fight non-exclusive one-year deal with Affliction last Friday. He joins Xtreme Couture teammates Mike Pyle (Pictures) and Chris Horodecki (Pictures) for the fledging promotion’s second event on Oct. 11.
In June 2006, Hieron (15-4) found a home within the International Fight League’s welterweight division. Rising through the ranks, the Long Island native become one of the now-defunct organization’s bigger stars before capturing their welterweight crown in December 2007. Hieron defended his crown only once against Mark Miller (Pictures) in March before the ailing promotion ceased operations.
Affliction 2 “Day of Reckoning” will be headlined by a heavyweight tilt between top-five contenders Josh Barnett (Pictures) and Andrei Arlovski (Pictures).