Roger Huerta's Future: Where Will the MMA Free Agent Land?

Shawn SmithCorrespondent INovember 24, 2009

Open season has begun for the fighting services of Roger Huerta.

Huerta’s last fight, a split-decision loss to Gray Maynard at UFC Ultimate Fight Night 19 on Sept. 16, was the last on his UFC contract, making him now a free agent in the MMA market.

He originally declined a five-fight deal with the UFC back in January to pursue a movie career; however, his recent bout with Maynard re-sparked his love for the fight game. He has now put his movie aspirations on hold in hopes of returning to the cage very soon.

Despite being a free agent, the UFC has the right to match any offer put forth by any other promotion for up to a year, which raises an interesting dilemma for the UFC.

Huerta is coming off of two straight losses and will likely not be in title contention anytime soon. However, with the UFC working diligently to break into the Mexico market, Huerta could be a key addition.

How much would the UFC be willing to pay for a non-contention fighter who could prove to be a huge draw in a new market? Or maybe the better question is how much is Scott Coker willing to pay for one of the UFC’s most popular lightweights?

Huerta's manager, Jeff Clark, told Huerta has "had a lot of interest from different parties." One would have to assume that this includes Strikeforce.

For a promotion that is trying to break into the mainstream, a fighter as recognizable as Huerta could be a huge addition.

It’s safe to say that Huerta is in a very good spot right now. Either way, his Mexican heritage and mainstream recognition makes him a huge commodity that will result in a hefty payday for this warrior, one way or another.