Home MMA NewsLatest News Jay Hieron: MMA Star Avoids Major Damage But Long-Term Health Was A Factor In His Career Change

Jay Hieron: MMA Star Avoids Major Damage But Long-Term Health Was A Factor In His Career Change

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Jay Hieron feels blessed that he had an MMA career of 10 years and 30 fights without any major injuries. Although he was knocked out four times, there weren’t any serious after-effects regarding his brain or overall thinking. Since retiring from the fighting ring, Jay has found a job as an actor and stuntman which gave him more than 100 roles in different movies and shows.

At age 46, the former UFC champion decided to quit fighting and focus more on his career in film and television. However, he had also taken his health into consideration when making this decision.

Recently, Hieron was talking on The MMA Hour and mentioned that even though he has taken some damage with eye surgeries and broken hands from his 30 fights, everything is still in check. He also indicated that it is a rough business and though it costs us something mentally every time we enter the fight, we all accept this when we sign up for these fights.

“I can handle all my injuries, but it’s limited. You get what I’m saying? I don’t want to be forced to retire from fighting because of my injuries. I wanted to stop fighting on my own terms. There are other things that interest me now and I don’t want to stay around too long just for the money.”

Randy Couture, a famous UFC Hall of Famer, showed Jay Hieron the fun activities he could do in movies and TV shows while he was still competing in fighting events. Soon enough, more offers started pouring in for Jay to work on films and series. Although he really wanted to keep trying out at contests, it became clear that it was time for him to move on and take those opportunities seriously.

So, I’d been fighting in competitions for around 11 years and I made some decent money a couple of years before that; however my last deal wasn’t really favourable. I didn’t want fighting to have the right to retire me – rather I wanted it to be my choice when to retire.

So for that reason, I decided not take any risky moves so instead started taking more jobs – just in case a good offer should arise that could reignite my flame and interest again.

After playing a part in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Hieron started to think that his future could be in acting. Because of this, he decided it was time to hang up his fighting gloves.

Hieron said he realized that he could make a living off his work. He had been involved in the film industry for a few years, but it was only part-time. So then, he figured out that to get more work, he had to reach out and let people know that he was now working full-time.

At first, I was waiting to see if something new would come up. There were no big tournaments like PFL then and I had already fought in every promotion like Bellator, UFC, Affliction, and IFL. So, I decided to take a break and didn’t tell anyone for one full year. But over time as I got busier, my interest shifted from fighting to the film industry and since then my passion has been focused on it.

Whenever he’s in Las Vegas, Hieron still regularly visits Xtreme Couture. Recently, he got the opportunity to return to the UFC with Jake Gyllenhaal and Conor McGregor to shoot some scenes for a remake of Road House.

Hieron is so thankful because he became really successful after he stopped being a fighter. He knows that it’s not easy for other fighters to change careers, which might be why they keep fighting even if it could harm their health. However, Hieron realizes that it’s difficult for athletes in combat sports to search for another career when all they know is how to fight.

Hieron said that it’s hard for him to tell people to have a “Plan B”. He believes it was a bit of luck which gave him this opportunity and he made sure to make the most out of it by doing all the work.

“It’s important to always be prepared for any possibility, but it can still be hard for someone who is fighting for their life and trying to put food on the table for their family and take care of their kids. It’s like they’re going into battle.”

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