Retired MMA veteran and current stuntman, Jay Hieron, has opened up about his experience taking on actor Jake Gyllenhaal during a fight scene for UFC 285.
Hieron shared that Gyllenhaal was fully committed to creating an authentic portrayal of the fight, resulting in a "beating" for Hieron.
Nine years after retiring from the UFC, former MMA veteran Jay Hieron made a surprising return to the octagon earlier this month, but this time as an actor and stuntman for the highly anticipated 'Road House' reboot. The Amazon remake of the classic 1989 film features a star-studded cast, including Conor McGregor, with scenes filmed around UFC 285 in Las Vegas.
Hieron shared his experience filming a fight scene with A-list actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays the role of ex-UFC fighter Elwood Dalton in the movie. Hieron admitted that he was surprised to be back in the UFC environment, especially in an acting scene with one of the biggest names in Hollywood.
"It was amazing," Hieron said in an interview with MMA Fighting. "To do a fight scene in the UFC on a live card, one of the best cards in the last few years, Jon Jones returning. It was incredible. Just being around the environment because I’m not around it as much anymore. Couldn’t ask for a better opportunity."
In the upcoming film, Jake Gyllenhaal's character is expected to engage in a heated rivalry with his arch-nemesis, portrayed by none other than former Bellator title challenger and UFC fighter, Jay Hieron. As part of the movie's plot, this animosity culminates in a high-stakes showdown inside the steel cage of the UFC.
The film crew filmed a pivotal fight scene during the ceremonial weigh-ins for UFC 285, which was later staged inside the Octagon on fight night, much to the delight of fans in attendance. During the sequence, Gyllenhaal's character delivers a devastating flying knee that results in Hieron's character being 'knocked out' in a brutal manner.
Jake Gyllenhaal wins as he brutally knocks out the middleweight champion #UFC285 pic.twitter.com/lk1jRUg52Q— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) March 5, 2023
After the filming of the intense fight scene between Jake Gyllenhaal's character and Jay Hieron's character inside the Octagon, the cage side footage quickly spread like wildfire on the internet. Among the videos that went viral were those showing the UFC broadcast team members, namely Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier, and Megan Olivi, who delivered impressive performances as they reacted to Gyllenhaal's unrelenting assault on the defeated Hieron.
Given the tight schedule and the high stakes of the production, the Road House team had little room for error in filming the fight scene. According to Hieron, they spared no effort in rehearsing and perfecting the scene to make it as authentic and believable as possible, knowing that they only had one chance to get it right.
Hieron: 'I Told Him To Keep Going If He Hit Me'
Jay Hieron recently made an appearance on MMA Junkie Radio, where he recounted his experience of filming the fight scene for 'Road House'. This was the first time Hieron had set foot inside the Octagon since his knockout loss to Tyron Woodley back in 2013.
Despite the absence of real-life stakes, Hieron found himself facing off against an opponent who was just as determined to make their fight scene as realistic and convincing as possible. In this case, it was Jake Gyllenhaal, who spared no effort in portraying his character's ruthless and relentless fighting style, which stood in stark contrast to Hieron's previous opponent in the UFC.
As well as crediting the entire team for their efforts, Hieron showered praise on Gyllenhaal, especially the "respect" he showed the fight game and its fans by pushing for as much realism as possible.
"Everybody was dialled in because, listen, we only had six to eight minutes in there. I mean, that's pretty much one take," Hieron said. "Jake came in and shined, did his thing... They got Jake ready with the fight (choreography)... They did a great job of getting him ready, getting him prepared, and when we started rehearsing, he was dialled in."
Team Work makes the Dream Work 💪🏽 @RoadHouseMovie 🎬 #UFC285 pic.twitter.com/bcOpJGMHLj— Jay Hieron (@Jayhieron) March 6, 2023
Following the successful completion of filming the fight scene for 'Road House' at UFC 285, the film crew was treated to some exhilarating fights inside the Octagon. Notably, Dricus Du Plessis and Bo Nickal delivered standout performances, while Alexa Grasso and Jon Jones emerged as new champions of their respective weight classes.
As for the highly anticipated fight scene between Jake Gyllenhaal and Jay Hieron, the crew had gone to great lengths to make it as realistic as possible, with Hieron himself praising their efforts in rehearsals.
Whether it appeared real or not is subjective, but the cage side footage and the reactions from the UFC broadcast team certainly added to the authenticity of the scene.
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