With one fight remaining on his current UFC contract, popular lightweight Roger Huerta has decided to turn down the organization’s five-fight contract extension offer to pursue a career in acting. It is rumored that he will be facing Spencer Fisher at UFC 96 on March 7th and then he intends to focus the rest of 2009 on his new career.
“I’m not burned out [with fighting],” Huerta told Sherdog.com. “I have one fight left with the UFC and I want to honor that. As soon as they tell me to fight, I’ll fight my last fight on the contract.”
Before dropping his last Octagon bout to Kenny Florian at UFC 87, Huerta had won 16 consecutive fights. He remains one of the division’s most exciting and popular fighters, however at this point in time, Huerta wants to seize the acting opportunity before that window slams shut on him.
“I saw that you have to dedicate as much as you do to training for a fight as you do for an acting role and I’m intrigued by that,” Huerta said. “I’m 25 years old. I see Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture and they didn’t really hit their primes till their thirties. I’m only going to be young so long and I know that movies and agencies, and what not, want the young look.”
To be able to perform at a championship level in the UFC, you have to be able to dedicate your life to the sport. With endless hours of training required to maintain and improve your MMA game, there is not too much time left over for much else.
This move might be a huge gamble, however Huerta is all in.
“Roger loves fighting for the UFC, but it doesn’t make sense for him to re-sign and continually let them down when he can’t take fights due to other projects,” stated Jeff Clark, Huerta’s manager. “They have a business to run and schedules to keep as well.”
When asked if he might be interested in fighting for another organization after his current UFC contract was up, Huerta was quick to show where his loyalties lie.
“The UFC is my home and it is my family and eventually I’ll come back,” said Huerta. “Pursuing the modeling and acting thing, that’s kind of where I’m at right now. The fighting will always be there. I’ll always have that in me. The truth is I’ve been fighting my whole life for everything, and this to me, is something else.”