Jay Hieron will have gone a touch more than seven years between UFC bouts when he steps into the Octagon against Jake Ellenberger at UFC on FX on Friday.
Bouncing from promotion to promotion in the years prior, however, doesn't quite compare to the tumultuous events the 36-year-old New Yorker overcame -- on multiple occasions -- earlier in his life.
"My sister just said to me recently, 'You have it in you,' " Hieron told FOXSports.com. "I've never had anybody force me to go wrestle or anything like that. I chose to go boxing and wrestling to protect myself. It turned into college and a career from there. I think it's just something deep inside me."
Growing up mostly in a single-parent household on Long Island, Hieron chose combat sports as a way to cope with his tough neighborhood. He soon realized he had a knack for wrestling, and, after a couple of collegiate stops along the way, he received a scholarship to wrestle at Hofstra University....