by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
It’s not very often
that a fighter comes along who is as skilled in the cage as he is charismatic
with the fans, as well as someone who speaks their mind about whatever it is
they are asked. Roger Huerta is exactly that person and as he prepares for possibly
the biggest fight of his career, against Kenny Florian at UFC 87, it seems like
he’s being asked every question except what he’ll do to beat his opponent on
extremely busy in 2007, Huerta decided to take some much needed time off from
the fight game and take some time to relax and re-energize. During that off
time, he took a role in the movie “Tekken,” based on the popular video game, he
traveled to various camps to look for new training, and he made appearances for
the UFC to help promote the sport.
But as the fight
with Florian approaches, Huerta has been embroiled in a number of comments he’s
made recently about pay structure in the UFC, video-editing problems that don’t
necessarily put him in a favorable light, and contract negotiations. All this
and he still has to deal with Kenny Florian.
“It’s the most
important fight in my life right now,” said a focused Roger Huerta. “Beating Kenny,
I should get that title hopefully.”
Of course Huerta
doesn’t need much motivation to get him ready for the fight, but a recent
interview he conducted with the UFC that, when edited, made it sound like he
was calling the bout with Florian a “cakewalk” gave his opponent a little extra
push to get ready for the fight.
“What I was
saying was compared to my life, compared to the stuff I’ve already gone
through, that fighting for me was a cakewalk,” Huerta commented. “Fighting
Kenny Florian’s a cakewalk, no offense to him that fighting is a cakewalk.
Fighting in general is just a fight compared to the life I used to have that’s
all that that means.”
comments were edited, Huerta somehow came out looking cocky towards his
opponent, and the lightweight fighter took great exception to that portrayal.
“You know how I
am with people. I’m a good person, I’m not a bad person, and I’m never going to
be,” Huerta said. “If you had to edit that to make me look bad then that’s
messed up, or make me look arrogant or make me disrespecting my opponents,
that’s pretty messed up. I’m not that guy. I’m never going to be that guy, so
don’t make me look like I’m that guy.”
What Huerta has
done to move away from the negativity has been to focus on training for this
fight with Florian and what better person to help him prepare than current UFC
welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
Georges was amazing. I learned a lot from him,” commented Huerta. “He’s an
amazing champion, an amazing role model, somebody to really look up to. If I
were one day to become a champion, I would like to be like Georges. He’s a
workaholic. He trains hard. He’s a work horse.”
Taking the time
off allowed Huerta to work with fighters like St. Pierre and he hopes that it’s
that edge that will propel him past Florian on Saturday night.
“Last year I
really didn’t have time to really sit down and train with phenomenal guys,
because I had a fight every two months,” said Huerta. “This year I was able to
go and learn different skills and that’s what we’re going to see on this next
fight Aug. 9.
“I’m going to go
after (Florian) and I know he’s going to do the same to me so it’s going to
live up to the hype.”