Welterweight Jay Hieron is heading straight for a title shot.
Hieron considered offers from both Strikeforce and the UFC before signing on to replace Joe Riggs and take on Nick Diaz for the Strikeforce welterweight title at the August 15 event.
Hieron will take on Nick Diaz, now 20-7,as part of a multi-fight deal for the promotion.
Hieron had been penciled in to fight Paul “Semtex” Daley before the cancellation of the August 1 Affliction: Trilogy event.
A former IFL fighter, Hieron competed in the UFC twice before and suffered losses to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 48 and Jonathan Goulet at UFC Fight Night 2. Hieron, who trains with Xtreme Couture, is on a five-fight win streak which includes seven wins in his past eight fights. The streak includes with wins over Jason High, Victor Moreno and Mark Miller.
The Diaz bout will put Hieron in with a former UFC and EliteXC fighter who is arguably the most high-profile player in the Strikeforce stable. Diaz is also on a five-fight win streak and recently defeated Scott Smith via third-round submission at a June Strikeforce event in St. Louis.
Diaz defeated Frank Shamrock via TKO in the main event of a Strikeforce card in April from San Jose, California.
Diaz had been slated to fight Riggs before Riggs was pulled from the card.
The Hieron vs. Diaz fight is one of four title fights currently slated for the August 15 Strikeforce show, which takes place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
The card will be televised on SHOWTIME and features Gina Carano against Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos for Strikeforce’s first-ever 145-pound women’s title in the night’s main event.