Julio Caesar Chavez, Salvador Sanchez, and Carlos Zarate. If these names ring a bell it's probably because they are all boxers hailed as heroes in Mexico. Roger Huerta may try to replicate their status in his career in the UFC, but he definitely will be facing an uphill battle.
Huerta is a very exciting, risk taking, powerful lightweight that will definitely make a splash in the lightweight division. Sure he lost to Kenflo, but Kenflo is one of the best in the world right next to BJ Penn, Gomi, and Aoki.
Huerta hopes to join them at the top of the rankings, but he has an even harder task ahead of him: being accepted in the country he so readily attaches himself to.
Huerta is not actually Mexican. This is a big setback in his quest, mainly because he may be perceived as a poser. This may be a tough word to use, but Huerta is not even a full-blooded Mexican. He is in fact half Salvadoran.
So, as an American citizen who is half Salvadoran, he is alienating both his country of origin and half of his heritage. This makes him a somewhat unlikable character.
For example, I have never been a fan of Tito Ortiz, but his entrance with a half-Mexican, half-American flag showed off his heritage and origin. This was more readily accepted.
Huerta would rather hide himself behind his Mexican flag shorts. One commentator offered this opinion, "If we asked a group of Mexican born people whether Huerta was white or Mexican they would say white."
Not only this, but as many people know, boxing is the sport of Mexico. The sweet science along with soccer has dominated Mexican culture. When another combat sport moves in on boxing there is a tad bit of backlash.
Not to mention that the man of the moment is Antonio Margarito after his win over Miguel Cotto for the WBA welterweight title. Huerta just lost also and this puts him on the backburner for any consideration at the time being.
Huerta is young though and has quite a bit of time to make up for his last fight, being only 25 years old. Holding a 20-2-1 record professionally and a 6-1 record inside the UFC, he has a bright future. The real question is whether he will reach that sky high potential that he possesses.
Lastly, he will never be a Mexican hero because Miguel Torres will be the true Mexican pioneer of MMA if there ever is to be one.
Miguel is a more pure blooded Mexican and is a lighter fighter. Why does this matter? Because Mexicans are historically more successful in lighter weight classes and love the quickness of the light weight classes.
Also, he embraces the culture. His entrance music is Mexican mariachi music which displays his love and care for his heritage. He is not seen as a poser.
Tough luck for Huerta, but I don't see any way for him to be fully accepted by the Mexican boxing culture.