(You think Huerta’s had it rough over the last couple years, imagine how this guy feels. PicProps: ImageShack)
It’s hard not to feel a little bit bad for Bellator this month. Here the upstart promotion is about to stage the biggest fight of its short history when Roger Huerta takes on Eddie Alvarez next Thursday and it seems like nobody even cares. Part of that is just sheer bad luck, what with Brock Lesnar and his magnificent new beard gobbling up the headlines prior to his title defense against Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 two days later. Some of it has to be thrown at Bellator’s feet too, since this bout would certainly be garnering some more attention if it weren’t a weirdo nontitle affair. Then there’s Huerta who, after losing three of his last four, is putting waaay too much pressure on himself this week.
“I feel like if Eddie wins, he ends up killing my career,” Huerta told Sherdog Radio on Monday. “I can’t take another loss. This is really personal for me. This is my life.”
Oh man, not sure Huerta is taking the right mental approach to this thing. Considering that the only meaningful fight “El Matador” has won in the last couple of years was outside a Texas night club, it might be healthier for him to look at this as one of those, “Whatever happens, I’ll be happy knowing I gave it my all” type situations. Especially since he’s facing Alvarez, a guy who’s been a straight up killer in all but a couple of his professional appearances.
Things haven’t exactly been going Huerta’s way since gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated after UFC 69 seemed to embolden him a bit more than the overlords at Zuffa would’ve liked. He basically signed his own death warrant with the UFC by going public with his displeasure about the company’s pay scale and expressing an interest in the movie business. That shit don’t fly in Dana’s world, just ask Todd Duffee. Especially after the UFC realized it could throw the weight of its promotion to the Hispanic community behind Velasquez.
“I’ve been really in a slump where it’s been kind of up and down, up and down. Like where I’m at in life, what things mean to me in life,” Huerta said. “It’s been more than just competing and fighting, (but) I think I’m over that now.”
We’ll see. After a year-long absence and two punishment fights against Kenny Florian and Gray Maynard signaled the end of his stint in the Octagon, here’s where Huerta is at: Seemingly ready to pronounce his own career "dead" if he can’t pull what would amount to a pretty huge upset over Alvarez. That seems pretty bleak, but it’s not stopping Huerta from somehow looking on the bright side.
“(This fight is) a dream come true for me, to be honest,” Huerta said. “I’m going in there to finish him. I’m not going in there to play patty cake or to fight a technical fight. I’m coming in to fight … I’m telling you this right now: I’m not holding anything back. From the moment they say go, we touch gloves — it’s going to be on.”