Roger Huerta

Roger Huerta Stirs the Salaries Pot

Roger Huerta. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Ever since Randy Couture mentioned a rather unfair pay scale as one of his reasons behind leaving the UFC, rumblings have been going on concerning the possibility that many fighters are unhappy with the organization, even some of their top stars.

We all know about Tito Oritz. That’s old news. Georges St. Pierre shot down rumors that he was planning on defecting to Affliction, which currently sponsors him, after his current contract (two fights remain) with the UFC runs out. Then there was Roger Huerta who was said to be unhappy. Unlike the others, it actually turned out to be a true story.

From the latest issue of FIGHT! Magazine via MMA Payout

Huerta’s disillusionment with the UFC began when he did press tours for his employer in Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, and London and received a $50 per diem for his troubles. It sounds like a a good deal until you factor in time away from training, friends, and family, days often stretch twelve hours or more, and an exchange rate of one UK pound for two American dollars. “Why do you think I don’t do PR for the UFC any more?” he asks.

He argues that many UFC fighters barely make enough to cover their training expenses. He brings up teammate Keith Jardine repeatedly, incensed that a main event fighter is working for ten and ten- $10k to show and 10k to win - while his opponent regularly makes ten times as much. “The truth is, I don’t really care if I fight in the UFC or somewhere else,” Huerta says. “I want to work for a company that is as loyal to me as I am to them.”

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Penn, Sherk Continue War of Words

B.J. Penn. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The war of words between UFC lightweight kings B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk raged on yesterday, a little over a week until their highly anticipated showdown that will decide the organization’s true lightweight champion in Las Vegas.

Even before the bout was officially signed, Penn has been adamant about blasting Sherk with every chance he gets concerning Sherk’s failed steroids test last year under the watch of the California State Athletic Commission, a ruling that the Minnesota native still feels is wrong to this day.

“It’s hard for me, being a guy that’s never used performance enhancing drugs,” Penn said on yesterday’s pre-fight conference call for UFC 84: Ill Will. “You wake up every day after training tired and in pain and it kind of gets to you when you learn that someone is taking those kind of things. I’m a purist and I love this sport more than anythning. When someone goes ahead and perverts a sport as pure as this, I can’t take it.”

Even though the two both agreed that the conclusion of the fight would most likely result in the end of the bad blood and hard-feelings, Penn continued to push Sherk’s button as the call went on, even going as far as asking the former champion himself about his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs, prompting Sherk to strike back.

“I know what I did and I know what I didn’t do,” Sherk said. “I went above and beyond what I had to do in order to try and prove that I was innocent. Anyone that has followed the case and what I’ve had gone through will know that I didn’t do what they said I did.”

“I have fans who stand by me and who believe that I didn’t take steroids,” continued Sherk. “Then there are those who will think a certain way because of the way I look. I’ve looked the same for the past 10 years. Shit, I’ve apparently been doing steroids and I’ve been able to drop down to 155 lbs. Amazing, isn’t it?”

Moderating the banter was UFC President Dana White. While White was hesitant to give a definite opinion on the situation involving Sherk, he also stated that he can’t complain about the amount of animosity between the two.

“I’ve known Sean Sherk for a long time. I respect him as an athlete and as a man,” White said. “B.J. has his opinions of Sean and he’s going to let you know what they are. This happens sometimes. One of the cool things about this sport is the sportsmanship and everything else. But you know sometimes guys just rub each other the wrong way and it happens. Everything I just said about the two best fighters in the world facing each other in their prime, it doesn’t suck when they hate each other either.”

Additional conference call notes from yesterday are after the jump.

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Report: Florian-Huerta Likely for UFC in August

Roger Huerta weighs-in for The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

A heavily rumored bout between lightweight contenders Roger Huerta and Kenny Florian seems to be very likely to take place when the Ultimate Fighting Championship travels to Minnesota for the first time in the promotion’s history in August.

The news comes from MMA Weekly, which reports through sources close to both fighters that bout agreements have been sent out and are expected to be signed.

Since losing an unanimous decision to former lightweight champion Sean Sherk close to two years ago, Florian has propelled himself right back into title contention with four straight wins. Most recently, Florian stopped fellow Boston native Joe Lauzon with strikes at UFC Fight Night 13 earlier this month.

Huerta, who last year became the first mixed martial artist to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, has won his first six bouts inside the confines of the UFC. He last submitted fellow exciting lightweight Clay Guida at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale in December and is currently on a hiatus from fighting while he finishes college.

Florian first revealed his desire to fight Huerta following his win over Lauzon just weeks ago, stating that it was the one fight in the UFC’s lightweight division that made the most sense at the moment. Huerta concurred in recent interviews and it now looks like the winner of the bout may be on the fast track to a shot at the winner of next month’s championship showdown between B.J. Penn and Sean Sherk.

UFC 87 is also expected to feature a heavyweight showdown between former professional and collegiate standout wrestler Brock Lesnar and UFC Hall-of-Famer Mark Coleman, who was the first UFC heavyweight champion in history.

Report: Huerta Back in Action in August

Roger Huerta weighs-in for The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Lightweight phenom Roger Huerta, who opened many eyes after maintaining a busy schedule last year that included five straight wins, will likely return to action when the Ultimate Fighting Championship travels to Minnesota for UFC 87.

The news comes from Ryan McKinnell of MMA Madness.

Huerta, who currently trains out Minnesota, gained instant fame in 2007 when he became the first mixed martial artist to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. He capitalized over a debut win over Jason Dent with five wins in as many fights last year, closing things out with an impressive stoppage of Clay Guida in December.

The 24-year-old recently announced his intention to take a break from active competition in order to let his body heal and take care of lingering injuries. He is now expected to fight once again in August against an opponent yet to be announced.

Word of Huerta’s return to action comes two days after fellow lightweight contender Kenny Florian, fresh off of a victory over Joe Lauzon Wednesday night, revealed his desire to fight Huerta in the near future.

Courtesy of The Fight Network:

“One fight I think that could be a blockbuster fight in the lightweight division is me and Roger Huerta,” Florian said. “I think that’s an incredibly marketable fight, a fight that could be the hottest fight right now in the lightweight division.”

UFC 87 is also expected to feature a heavyweight showdown between former professional and collegiate standout wrestler Brock Lesnar and UFC Hall-of-Famer Mark Coleman, who was the first UFC heavyweight champion in history.

Camacho Talks Denny Win, Huerta, and More

Joe Camacho gets ready to throw a left hook against Akiyo Nishiura. Photo by Rick Estrada. Used with permission.

Joe Camacho continued his winning ways last week as he knocked out Thomas Denny to become King of the Cage’s newest lightweight champion at the promotion’s “Premiere” event this past Thursday.

Camacho is now riding a six-fight undefeated streak and hasn’t lost since the summer of 2006, defeating two of the world’s top-rated international fighters along the way

MMA on Tap was able to catch up with Camacho, who was willing to discuss his win over Denny, his future, his continual efforts to earn a rematch against current UFC lightweight contender Roger Huerta, and what he has planned for 2008 among other things in a short but news-filled question and answer session.

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Report: Huerta Taking 6-8 Months Off

In a recent interview with MMA Weekly, UFC lightweight standout Roger Huerta has admitted that he plans to take 6-8 months off next year in order to recover from the burden of fighting on five different occasions in 2007:

“I’m not fighting for 6, 7, 8 months,” said Huerta. “I did everything I could this year, I tried to keep helping promote the sport, keep making it grow, but I think I didn’t get a lot of R&R. I trained through Thanksgiving for this fight, I didn’t even go home to Texas to spend time with my family.”

It’s well deserved in my opinion. He pretty much fought once every two months this year which is pretty incredible because of some of the wars he was in.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes back before his planned vacation though. The UFC always needs replacement fighters and should an opportunity against a big name come up, Huerta would have a tough decision to make.

Report: Stevenson Expects to Fight Penn

Joe Stevenson may very well be taking on B.J. Penn for the UFC Lightweight Title if current champion Sean Sherk’s October 31st appeal isn’t heard in a positive way according to The Fight Network:

The one-year suspension of champion Sean Sherk for alleged steroid use following his July 7 title defense to Hermes Franca at UFC 73 in Sacramento, Calif., has stalled plans to have the Minnesotan wrestler face number-one contender B.J. Penn at Nov. 17’s UFC 78 in Newark, N.J.

And while it appeared that Penn has been patiently awaiting a new opponent for Nov. in the interim, the popular Hawaiian’s camp has confirmed their leader is now preparing for a Dec. 29 match-up at UFC 79 in Las Vegas, Nev. Sherk faces the California State Athletic Commission on Oct. 31 to appeal his case, but if he cannot shake the suspension and is stripped of his title by Zuffa LLC, Penn (11-4-1) could face UFC 74 standout Joe Stevenson (28-7).

“I was told I was definitely fighting in December or January,” said Stevenson Thursday. “I think there’s a strong possibility I’ll face B.J. Penn.”

So it seems that the UFC has a backup plan already set just in case Sherk’s positive test isn’t overturned. However, what happens if Sherk is permitted to remain champion? It’s obvious that Penn is the number one contender and would take on Sherk. So what about Stevenson? With Guida-Huerta and Fisher-Edgar already unofficially locked up, Kenny Florian may be the only other option for a Stevenson opponent.

Report: Guida vs Huerta at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale

MMA on Tap has learned that the UFC is currently in negotiations with Clay Guida and Roger Huerta for a possible showdown in December at The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale.

Clay Guida is a versatile veteran who sports a mixed martial arts record of 22-8-0 and a UFC record of 2-2. Guida is coming off of a unanimous decision victory over PRIDE veteran Marcus Aurelio.

Roger “El Matador” Huerta sports a MMA record of 19-1-1 and a UFC record of 5-0. Huerta holds victories over the likes of Leonard Garcia, Alberto Crane, Doug Evans, John Halverson, and Jason Dent. Huerta’s sole professional loss came to the hands of IFL veteran Ryan Schultz at SuperBrawl 36 in 2004.

CKA: Sep 16, 2007

News and Notes

- Our rumors section has been updated once again…

- Sam Caplan of Five Ounces of Pain and CBS Sports fame has learned that Denis Kang has officially signed with K-1 Hero’s:

Denis Kang has revealed to that he has formally signed a contract with K-1 HERO’s. The deal between Kang and K-1 had been rumored for quite some time but was not finalized until recently.

The date of Kang’s first fight and his first opponent have yet to be determined.

- Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer is reporting that the UFC has signed Ryo Chonan, for real this time:

UFC has officially signed Ryo Chonan, a former Pride fighter

- A man was apparently shot and then ran away before medics could get to him at Minnesota’s first MMA event last night:

A man was shot during a martial arts competition at the Target Center late Saturday, according to witnesses.

Those in attendance told the Pioneer Press they saw a man at the top of a stairwell in Section 130 fire a shot from a handgun. As patrons scattered in panic, another man was seen falling or sliding down a stairwell.

A Minneapolis police operator said the victim ran off before officers could help, according to the Associated Press. No one was immediately taken into custody in the shooting, which was reported at 10:51 p.m.

Touch of gloves to Zach Arnold and Fight Opinion for that find.

- It looks like Tito Ortiz will be signing a contract extension with the UFC:

I’ll be re-signing with the UFC and they gave me what I want. I know a lot of other companies that are asking about me and I can’t count how many phone calls I’ve said “I can’t talk to you guys anymore,” because it’s against my contract. I’ve got guys literally who have called me and they’ve said, “Is this Tito?” And I’ve said, “Yes.” And they’ll say, “This is so and so.” And I’ll have to stop them right there and tell them, “Oh, let me stop you there. I can’t talk to you no more.”

- Caleb Newby OF 411 Mania is reporting that Roger Huerta has stated he will most likely be fighting at UFC 79 against an opponent yet to be named:

At Saturday evening’s WFC MMA event in Minneapolis, Roger Huerta announced to the crowd that he is looking to have his next fight on the UFC’s December 29 event. I was able to speak to Roger for a few minutes after. He said he’d recently returned from London and is finalizing the details of the Dec. 29 date with the UFC. Huerta also stated there is no opponent lined up as of yet.

From The Mailbag: Aug 31, 2007

Kevin from Jersey writes:

I would like to know when we are going to find out about the state of the UFC Lightweight Champion Title. If Sherk just so happens to keep his title, Roger Huerta shoule get the next title shot for the lightweight belt. If Sherk’s appeal is denied and the title is revoked, Huerta and Stevenson should battle it out for the belt. Just the opinion of an everyday fight fan.

Well Kevin, it seems that we are going to know a lot more after Sherk’s meeting with the CSAC scheduled on October 31st. That will be when the commission decides whether or not they are going to reverse Sherk’s positive test for steroids. If they do, expect Sherk to keep his title and fight before the year is over. If they decide to stay with their claim that Sherk tested positive, UFC President Dana White has already said that Sherk will be stripped of the title.

I haven’t heard anything about Huerta getting a possible title shot. I think that he needs to go up against some of the better competition in the division before he will be ready to go up against a fighter the caliber of Sherk or Stevenson. I’ve heard that the winner of the Din Thomas-Kenny Florian fight in September may go up against B.J. Penn in November for the title now that Stevenson has a broken nose and is medically suspended for two months.

Basically nothing is set in stone right now and we aren’t going to learn about the state of the UFC Lightweight Title until after Sherk’s date with the CSAC on Halloween.

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