After contract negotiations flew south earlier this year between the UFC and Roger "El Matador" Huerta, the first ever MMA fighter to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated decided that he would hang up the five-ounce gloves after fulfilling the remaining fight on his contract.
At the optimal age of 26, during the peak of his remarkable career, Huerta decided to preserve his lady's man face from punishment and join the rising trend of fighters-turned-actors.
Can't really blame the guy, producers are throwing around stupid amounts of cash to sign athletes that compete in the fastest rising sport to this day, commercialism at it's best.
Huerta signed on to fight rising star and fan favorite, Gray Maynard, as the co-main event to UFC Fight Night 19.
In a bout that could of gone to either fighter, Huerta picked up his third loss of his career, giving him two losses in a row to complete his UFC contract.
Before and after Bruce Buffer's official announcement, Huerta continually blew kisses to the crowd as if it really was his last fight.
As someone who has supported Huerta and everything he has done for the sport, it was a bittersweet moment.
In addition to confusion, there was a paralyzing feeling of jealousy. It's so rewarding to break into something that you love to do, as opposed to continue on your current path just because you are so great at what you do.
Although it was hard to let go of Huerta, I was inspired by his dedication to pursue a different facet of his multi-talented set of skills.
Now it appears that his acting career may have to wait a bit. In an interview with Sherdog, Huerta wasn't shy on his future in fighting.
“I think it could have gone either way and it’s my fault, I let it go to the judges and I can’t go out like that. I can’t go out with two losses in a row. I don’t think I’m going to call it quits anytime soon.”
Fans of "El Matador" should wait for celebration, as Huerta has yet to begin another round of contract negotiations. Although for now, things appear to be promising.
“I’m still open to acting,” said Huerta. “Hopefully we get something going with that, but I’m not going to prioritize (acting) now. I’ll still prioritize fighting. If the UFC wants me back, I’d be willing to go back.”
The straw that may break the camel's back may be the stipulations that Huerta demanded during his last outing with Dana White.
If fighting is still Huerta's passion, he needs to avoid asking for B.J. Penn's salary. He should demand a suiting contract, but take what is offered and prove he is worthy of earning Penn-like numbers.
Huerta has fallen out of the top 10 after suffering his first two octagon defeats. Nevertheless, if Huerta is serious about a return to action, his relentless pace and formidable attributes could easily propel him back into the title picture.
As a selfish fan, Huerta should live up to his word and continue to prioritize fighting over acting.
Let's face it, the ladies will always love Roger Huerta. Even after a number of fights, the ladies will still go out and watch whatever movie he decides to star in.
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