Georges St. Pierre took on Jay Hieron at UFC 48, which was held on June 19, 2004, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV.
This was Jay Hieron’s first fight in the UFC. Prior to this match he was undefeated, carrying a 4-0 professional record. He was a solid striker with great wrestling and jiu-jitsu skills. People were looking forward to seeing how Jay would adapt to being in the UFC.
This was Georges St. Pierre’s 7th fight in the UFC. He was currently undefeated as well, carrying an impressive 6-0 UFC record. Out of those 6 victories, St. Pierre had finished 5 of those opponents. He was looking unstoppable at this point, so an impressive win over Jay Hieron would put him into title contention.
Round 1, both guys meet in the center of the Octagon. They circle each other, trying to feel each other out. They both throw jabs and kicks within the first 20 seconds. St. Pierre lands the harder of the punches. St. Pierre drops down and attempts a takedown but is defended well by Hieron.
They both continue to jab at each other in the center of the ring. St. Pierre attempts a head kick that misses. Seconds later, Hieron throws a jab that misses, and St. Pierre counters with a hard right hand that connects.
St. Pierre attempts a high spinning back kick that misses. They continue throwing jabs, neither one lands. Hieron lands a light leg kick on St. Pierre. Shortly thereafter, St. Pierre lands another solid right hand to Hieron’s face that seems to stagger Jay slightly.
St. Pierre follows that up with a sharp left hook that backs Hieron up against the cage. Hieron drops to the canvas and St. Pierre pounces on him, landing hammer fists to the side of Hieron’s head. Hieron holds on to St. Pierre’s legs while Georges throws several shots at Jay’s head. Hieron is still holding Georges in a clinch while standing back to his feet. Immediately after Jay is upright, St. Pierre throws a right hand at close range that lands on the side of Hieron’s head. It knocks him sideways, and before he can recover, St. Pierre lands another solid right hand that drops Jay back down to the canvas.
Hieron’s legs give out and he looks very shaky as he grabs St. Pierre’s legs, trying to hold on. St. Pierre is relentless, immediately swarming Hieron, dropping more hammer fists to the side of his head. Referee Steve Mazzagatti is looking very closely at Jay Hieron because he looks so wobbly.
Hieron holds onto St. Pierre’s legs again and buys himself some brief recovery time. He uses his hold on St. Pierre’s legs to stand once again. He hoists one of Georges legs up in the air, looking as if he wanted a takedown. He backs St. Pierre up into the cage, still holding one of Georges legs. St. Pierre is throwing punches at Hieron at the same time, not really landing anything damaging, but working.
Georges is finally able to break free and pushes Hieron back. They square off once again. St. Pierre continues his attack by throwing a quick jab to the chest, then quickly lands another right hand bomb to Hieron’s face. Jay is rocked and is visibly shaken by the barrage of punches. He immediately starts backpedaling as St. Pierre swarms him again. Georges quickly catches him again with a left hand, followed by a vicious right that drops Hieron flat on his back against the cage.
Georges jumps in Hieron’s guard and instantly starts landing bombs on Jay’s head. He lands several unanswered punches, then switches to elbows. After about 3 or 4 unanswered elbow shots, Referee Steve Mazzagatti had seen enough. He steps in and stops the fight. St. Pierre wins by TKO in Round 1. This performance was impressive enough to earn George St. Pierre a title shot against then titleholder, Matt Hughes. His record moved to 7-0, and this incredible performance against Jay Hieron is one of the reasons that many MMA fans consider St. Pierre to be one the greatest mixed-martial artists in history.