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Tag: Roger Huerta

Huerta/Florian Booked for UFC 87

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KF

We’ve called it “a Fight of the Year waiting to happen” — and luckily, it’s happening. Sources have confirmed that top UFC lightweight contenders Roger Huerta and Kenny Florian will face each other at UFC 87 (August 9th; Minneapolis, MN), with the winner all but guaranteed an immediate shot at the 155-pound belt.

Huerta is 16-0 with one no-contest in his last 17 fights (22-1-1 +1 NC overall), including six consecutive victories in the UFC; by UFC 87, he will have been inactive for eight months. Kenny Florian most recently dispatched Joe Lauzon at UFC Fight Night 13, and hasn’t suffered a defeat since his title fight against Sean Sherk in October 2006. As Florian told MMAWeekly:

“[Huerta is] a game opponent, and he’s never going to quit. It doesn’t matter how tired he gets, he’s gonna keep going, and those are the kind of guys that I want to fight. He’s on a roll, he’s very confident right now. And I like the kid. I know him personally. He’s a good kid, and we get along great. He has a bright future, regardless of what happens in the fight with me.”

See, when Florian talks trash, it’s so subtle that you barely notice it.

Huerta/Florian is such an outstanding matchup because it seems like both fighters’ career trajectories have been pushing them towards each other. It’s not a title fight, but it has all the importance of one, and will help to establish a clear ranking order in the UFC’s lightweight division. (For the same reasons, Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson is also one of those fights that needs to happen.) Let us know your early predictions in the comments section and in our new poll. For those of you who have bought into the “Roger Huerta is overhyped and hasn’t faced tough competition” line, here’s my rebuttal: Winning 16 straight fights is an amazing achievement no matter who you’ve fought, because 1) every opponent represents a different style challenge that may cause problems for you, even if they’re a lesser fighter on paper, and 2) everybody gets caught once in a while. An undefeated record or a monstrous win streak like Huerta’s shows that a fighter is well-rounded enough to handle whatever he encounters in the cage, and doesn’t make the minor errors in judgment that lead to eating an unexpected right hook.

I’m not saying he’ll win; I’m just sayin’.

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MMA One-Liners: Huerta, Griffin, Liddell, Le + More

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(Roger Huerta could be ending his fight-hiatus in August.)

Brief (but important) developments in the world of organized violence…

MMAMadness has learned from a “very reliable source” that UFC lightweight Roger Huerta will return to the Octagon at UFC 87 (August 9th, Minneapolis), against a yet-unnamed opponent. Could this be related to Kenny Florian’s recent call-out of “El Matador”? If it’s not, Joe Silva can basically go eff himself.

— In his first TUF7 column for Fox Sports, Forrest Griffin reveals that all the fighters were instructed to show up at no heavier than 190 pounds; so that one dude who had to drop 17 in one day only has himself to blame. Also: “I noticed that for the first couple of days ‘Rampage’ was much more funny than me and I was upset by that.”

— Perhaps due to the controversy spurring from last week’s news coverage of kiddie MMA, legislators are seeking to ban children’s MMA competitions in Missouri, the only state where youth matches are allowed. The MO-based youth-MMA organization Freestyle Combat League already requires its fighters to wear head gear and shin guards, and prohibits strikes to the head of a grounded opponent. The head of the FCL, Nathan Orand, says he’ll also be adding chest and stomach protectors for fighters younger than 14, allowing referees to stop a match if they see the danger of a joint injury, and switching from a cage to a ring. Sounds safe enough for our daughter!

This Portfolio article on Chuck Liddell-as-accountant is notable for the following metaphor: “When I’m watching pre-fight tapes, I’m collecting all my receipts on my opponents, accumulating data,” [Liddell] says. “Once I step into the cage, it’s April 15. Everything is due.”

— MMAJunkie just put up an article evaluating the UFC performance of the 100 fighters featured on the first six seasons of The Ultimate Fighter. Junkie’s rather downbeat assessment: “[O]nly about 20 percent could be generously credited as UFC stars, or even serious contenders in their weight classes…more than half of the “TUF” contestants were unequivocal flops in that they failed to last more than two or three fights with the organization, if even that long.”

— Our buddy Ariel at JarryPark was recently named Editor-in-Chief of MMARated.com (mazel tov, brotha), and just put up a great audio interview with Cung Le, in which the new Strikeforce middleweight champ discusses Frank Shamrock’s trash-talk and his current contract situation with Strikeforce.

— Have a friend you don’t mind getting uncomfortably close with? Then these 10 “Ultimate Fighting” Exercises might be for you…

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Fight of the Day: Florian vs. Lauzon

Many of you wanted the underdog to pull this one out, but it’s hard not to be impressed by Kenny Florian, who faced another tough opponent last night and walked away without so much as a scratch. The match certainly lived up to the hype, with a wild first round and decisive finish. Unfortunately, Lauzon was completely lost under Florian’s mount, and did very little to control Florian’s body. The better fighter won; simple as that. Let’s hope the UFC grants Ken-Flo’s wish and gives him a fight with Huerta to decide the 155-pound division’s next lightweight title contender…

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The Seven Nastiest Illegal Knockouts of All Time


(Perfectly legal, mind you.)

Ah, the good old days — when men were men, women were women, and ballsacks could be repeatedly pummeled inside the Octagon without Big John McCarthy doing a damn thing about it. Above, of course, is the fateful UFC 4 fight between Keith “By Any Means Necessary” Hackney, and Joe Son (who later appeared as Random Task in the first Austin Powers movie). By the late ’90s, rule changes had made mixed martial arts look somewhat civilized, and dozens of attacks/holds/gouges were deemed verboten. But regrettably, accidents still happen. And now, our favorite “accidents” ever…

7. Anderson Silva upkicks Yushin Okami

Before The Spider was the deadliest dude in the UFC, he was just a guy trying to get Yushin Okami the fuck off of him at Rumble on the Rock 8. His knockout kick was a crowd pleaser, but unfortunately he was DQ’d on a technicality — Okami’s knees were down.

6. Andrei Arlovski rabbit-punches Marcio Cruz
After back-to-back losses at the hands of Tim Sylvia, Arlovski was dying for a win, and he wasn’t above fighting dirty to get it. When the opportunity presented itself at UFC 66, the Pitbull started whaling on the back of Marcio Cruz’s head. Herb Dean gave him a warning. Arlovski kept doing it. Herb Dean warned him again. Arlovski kept doing it. Herb Dean stopped the fight and gave Andrei the win. Love that Herb Dean.

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Roger Huerta to Hit Big Screen in ‘Tekken’?

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Roger Huerta may use his temporary hiatus from the UFC to try his hand at a movie career. Though he won’t be fighting in the Octagon again until September at the earliest, Huerta will reportedly stay busy by appearing as “Matador” in a film version of the video game series Tekken. According to IMDb, the movie begins production this month and is slated for release sometime next year. Check out the teaser trailer:

Now all they have to do is cast Kimbo Slice as Jeffry McWild in a movie version of Virtua Fighter, and we’ll be set…

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Jeffry

(Props: MMAMania, CagePotato reader “Bill C”)

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Roger Huerta Is the Official Face of the Official Car Speakers of the UFC

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According to this press release, Directed Electronics has inked a deal with the UFC to become its “exclusive mobile audio partner.” Specifically, their Orion Car Audio brand will be promoted through ads on UFC.com, point-of-purchase displays, and an association with Roger “El Matador” Huerta, the lightweight contender and Sports Illustrated cover-dude whose entrance music we dig.

Says Jim Jardin, Director of Marketing for Directed:

“The UFC is one of the fastest-growing and most popular sports in the world with young men — exactly the same hardcore demographic that has made Orion a legend in high performance car audio for over 25 years. We look forward to our exclusive mobile audio partnership with the UFC and Roger Huerta as we promote the launch of the affordable Orion COBALT(R) line of speakers, amplifiers and subwoofers, and drive new car audio customers to Orion dealers.”

This could be good or bad, depending on how Directed and Huerta play it. If Huerta can use this opportunity to establish mixed martial artists as commercially viable celebrities who can endorse more than just vitamin supplements and t-shirts, then it’s a good thing. It’ll be a bad thing if the first pitch meeting goes like this:

Jim Jardin: Roger, you’re a Mexican, right?
Roger Huerta: Yeah.
JJ: Perfect. The Hispanic market is huge, in terms of car-speaker consumption, and we need you to help us connect to them. So for the first ad, you’ll be driving a low-rider with an Aztec goddess air-brushed on the hood. Orion speakers will just be pouring out of this thing. You know, like how they do in the barrio? Where you’re from? Anyway, you’ll also be wearing a big sombrero and a wife-beater. It would be a huge help if you grew a mustache.
RH: Can I wear my Mexican-flag hot-shorts too?
JJ: We’d actually prefer it.
RH: Then let’s do this, man.
JJ: Great. Except from now on, could you pronounce “man” as “mayng”?

(Mad props: MMAPayout)

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Roger Huerta as Smart as He Is Pretty

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(“Do it, Roger! Choke that old bag out!”)

MMAWeekly posted an article today summarizing Roger Huerta’s recent appearance on MMAWeekly Radio, in which El Matador declared that he’d be taking up to eight months off from fighting in order to rest, finish his degree in business management, and develop his takedown defense. Said Huerta:

“I’m not fighting for 6, 7, 8 months. I did everything I could this year, I tried to keep helping promote the sport, keep making it grow, but I think I didn’t get a lot of R&R. I trained through Thanksgiving for this fight, I didn’t even go home to Texas to spend time with my family…You know the truth is I need to finish school too. I fought 5 times this year and I think that’s the most anybody’s ever done in the UFC and I think I’m going to take some time off.”

Translation: “There’s no way I’m going to fight again — and potentially lose my shot at the UFC lightweight belt — until after Sean Sherk fights the winner of Penn/Stevenson, when I’ll obviously be the next in line to challenge for the title. What am I, a schmuck on wheels?”

Since the dude went 5-0 in 2007 and just proved that his pristine record is no joke, Huerta deserves a break as much as he deserves a chance to win the lightweight championship. So big ups to Roger for playing it smart and not immediately setting up a meaningless fight. On that note, here’s how I’d rank the UFC’s lightweight division, in terms of ability:

1) BJ Penn
2) Roger Huerta
3) Sean Sherk (w/o ‘roids)
4) Mac Danzig
5) Joe Stevenson

If you see things differently, by all means, post your own list in the comments section. I just can’t wait to hear you try to explain why Frankie Edgar and Ken-Flo are, like, the sickest fighters ever.

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Guida’s Hair Even More Terrifying in Person

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“I was hurt. He rocked me, man. I was slightly knocked out but I knew what was going on. I just heard this ringing, and it was the weirdest thing, all I saw was all this hair, I didn’t know if it was a human being or a lion attacking me, then after about 10 seconds I was like ‘Hey Clay’ and it was back on.” — Roger Huerta, to Yahoo! Sports

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The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale: Post Mortem

MAc Danzig TUF6 Champion

Hey CagePotato fans, this is Greg Clark from MMA Fever, I’ll be filling in for Ben as he recovers from his breast-reduction surgery, so let’s dive into The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale shall we…

Ben Saunders v Dan Barrera

Ben Saunders vs. Dan Barrera

The first fight of the Spike TV televised card set the tone for the rest of the night: Brutal, nasty, and damn entertaining.

Saunders defeated Barrera in Episode 6 by majority decision, so this bout was a true grudge match for both fighters to showcase their talent to the UFC and its fans.

Ben Saunders started round 1 demonstrating his superior striking skills, complemented by his leg kicks from his 6’3″ frame that connected on Barrera at will.  The fight was filled with back-and-forth action, but Barrera, who had been coached by Matt Hughes, showed that he was way out of his league against the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist when the fight went to the ground.

At one point, Saunders had Barrera’s back and put him in a body lock which set up the rear naked choke attempt.  As both fighters were dripping with sweat, Barrera was able to escape the bout ending submission.  Saunders stuffed Barrera’s takedowns easily which appeared to be the only weapon he had during the fight.  He also dominated on the ground and clearly won rounds 1, 2 and 3 for the unanimous decision victory against the battle worn Barrera.

Ben Saunders def. Dan Barrera via unanimous decision

Next up: Rogan’s Matt Hughes interview

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Oh Yeah, the Main Event…

For all the attention we’ve been giving to the Danzig/Speer matchup at Saturday’s TUF Finale, we haven’t shown much love to the Roger Huerta (19-1-1, 5-0 UFC) vs. Clay Guida (22-8-0, 2-2 UFC) lightweight bout that’s actually headlining the card. Many fans have been questioning Huerta’s impressive record, arguing that the UFC has given him easy matchups to protect its Hispanic poster-boy. But as tough as Clay Guida is, he has trouble finishing fights, and it’s not like he’s been tested by the best either; he’s certainly lost to talented fighters, but he hasn’t really beaten any. Personally, I think the Guida love among fans is a little unwarranted (maybe they just want to see him destroy something beautiful). I’m going to pick Huerta in a unanimous decision. But hey, feel free to come to your own conclusions. You can start by watching this clip from the UFC 79 press conference, then Huerta and Guida’s most recent fights…

(Roger Huerta vs. Alberto Crane, UFC 74, 8/25/07)

Click here to download Clay Guida/Marcus Aurelio at UFC 74 (221 MB), courtesy of MMALinker.

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