It appears that “The Thoroughbred” is galloping back to the Octagon.
Sherdog.com confirmed Wednesday with sources close to the situation that Jay Hieron is expected to step in for the injured Josh Koscheck to square off with Jake Ellenberger in the UFC 151 co-main event. MMAJunkie.com first reported the development.
The Sept. 1 show takes place at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and is headlined by a light heavyweight title defense by Jon Jones against former Strikeforce champ Dan Henderson.
Hieron, 36, enters the cage having won 11 of his last 12. The New Yorker joined the Bellator Fighting Championships in 2011, defeating Anthony Lapsley, Brent Weedman and Rick Hawn to capture the Season 4 welterweight tournament crown. Hieron would stumble in his ensuing title shot, however, as the Xtreme Couture rep suffered a split decision defeat to Ben Askren last October.
After negotiating his Bellator release, Hieron most recently competed for the Texas-based Legacy Fighting Championship, earning a controversial technical submission victory over Romario Manoel da Silva on July 13.
Nine years younger than his new foe, Ellenberger saw a six-fight winning streak snapped on June 1, when he suffered a technical knockout defeat to Danish standout Martin Kampmann at “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 finale. Prior to that setback, “The Juggernaut” began 2012 with a unanimous decision victory over former lightweight title challenger Diego Sanchez.