by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Amidst much speculation, Roger Huerta today confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that he is indeed returning to the Octagon as part of The Ultimate Fighter Finale for season five. His opponent, Doug Evans, is the Bantamweight Champion of the Alaska Fighting Championship and is coming off of a unanimous decision victory over World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Mike Joy.
“Yes, it’s true,” answered Huerta when questioned about the fight. “I just got the call two days ago and here I am.” Despite reports that he is off of the UFC 74 fight card on August 25, Huerta said that isn’t necessarily so. “If everything goes right and I don’t get too banged up, I could still be on UFC 74.”
His addition to The Ultimate Fighter Finale is a move by the UFC to try and capitalize on Huerta’s recent cover appearance on Sports Illustrated, the first such appearance by a mixed martial artist. “I’m excited. I was shocked a little bit at first because my mindset was ‘I’m fighting in August’ and then ‘oh, you’re fighting in 2 weeks’, but I’m a fighter, this is my job,” commented Huerta.
He also confirmed that the fight would be on Spike TV. “They’re going to show it for sure.” But the prospect of fighting before a potentially huge audience on cable television doesn’t seem to faze Huerta, as he’s positioned himself as a professional athlete. “That doesn’t affect me really. I just think of my opponent in the ring. I have people that think of that for me [and how it effects my career]. My number one worry is to train every day and keep focused on who I’m fighting.”
A college student aiming for a degree in business, Huerta knows that it is a prosperous time in the fight game and, short notice or not, he is prepared to capitalize on his opportunities. “First and foremost, I’m a fighter. I was already doing two-a-days [training twice per day], so I wasn’t out of shape. I really couldn’t wait to get back in there and then here it is. It’s go time!”